Google agrees to invest up to $2 billion in OpenAI rival Anthropic

FILE PHOTO: An illuminated Google logo is seen inside an office building in Zurich

By Krystal Hu

(Reuters) -Alphabet's Google has agreed to invest up to $2 billion in the artificial intelligence company Anthropic, a spokesperson for the startup said on Friday.

The company has invested $500 million upfront into the OpenAI rival and agreed to add $1.5 billion more over time, the spokesperson said.

Google is already an investor in Anthropic, and the fresh investment would underscore a ramp-up in its efforts to better compete with Microsoft, a major backer of ChatGPT creator OpenAI, as Big Tech companies race to infuse AI into their applications. also said last month it would invest up to $4 billion in Anthropic to compete with growing cloud rivals on AI.

In Amazon's quarterly report to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission this week, the online retailer detailed it had invested in a $1.25 billion note from Anthropic that can convert to equity, while its ability to invest up to $2.75 billion in a second note expires in the first quarter of 2024.

Google declined to comment, and Amazon did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

The Wall Street Journal earlier reported the news of Google's latest agreement with Anthropic.

The rising number of investments shows ongoing maneuvering by cloud companies to secure ties with the AI startups that are reshaping their industry.

Anthropic, which was co-founded by former OpenAI executives and siblings Dario and Daniela Amodei, has shown efforts to secure the resources and deep-pocketed backers needed to compete with OpenAI and be leaders in the technology sector.

(Reporting by Krystal Hu in New York and Chavi Mehta in Bengaluru; Additional reporting by Jeffrey Dastin; Editing by Anil D'Silva, Devika Syamnath and Chris Reese)