AI M&A and New Funding with Anysphere, AlphaSense, and Enflame

Companies Engaged in AI-Related Initiatives Secure Additional Capital

AI M&A and New Funding with Anysphere, AlphaSense, and Enflame

Anysphere Raises $8 Million to Build AI-Powered IDE Named Cursor

San Francisco-based software startup Anysphere has secured $8 million in seed funding to develop Cursor, the integrated development environment (IDE) that the company says is AI native, to speed up common programming and software-building workflows. The funding round was led by venture capital firm OpenAI Startup Fund, with participation from GitHub former CEO Nat Friedman, Dropbox co-founder Arash Ferdowsi, and other angel investors.

As an IDE, Cursor aims to help developers write and debug code more efficiently by combining capabilities such as software editing, building, testing, and packaging in an easy-to-use application that contains a code editor, a compiler or interpreter, and a debugger accessed through a single graphical user interface (GUI). Cursor’s built-in AI assistant can also respond to natural language queries about code, reveal potential bugs, and generate new code snippets on demand.

The new funding will enable Anysphere to refine Cursor’s abilities to edit across multiple files, improve codebase comprehension, and learn new frameworks and libraries. The money will also help support Anysphere research on AI and machine learning, said company co-founder and CEO Michael Truell. In the announcement, he said, “In the next several years, our mission is to make programming an order of magnitude faster, more fun, and creative. Our platform enables all developers to build software faster.”

Still, the company faces an increasingly crowded space: Microsoft’s Visual Studio Code currently dominates the IDE market and other tech giants such as Google, as well as the open-source community, are all vying to integrate AI into coding workflows. But Anysphere CEO Truell said the company is growing at a rapid clip, with the number of paying customers on the rise, on top of tens of thousands of people already on the platform. Annual recurring revenue is now more than $1 million, a sum that Anysphere officials say is good for a startup.

The latest round of capital infusion brings the total funding for Anysphere since its 2021 founding to $11 million.

AlphaSense Obtains $150 Million on $2.5 Billion Valuation

Market intelligence and search platform provider AlphaSense has secured $150 million in Series E funding, bringing the New York City-based firm a total valuation to date of $2.5 billion. The company’s latest financing round was led by BOND, the venture capital firm that supports visionary founders of high-growth internet companies, and was joined by existing investors that included Alphabet’s independent growth fund CapitalG, as well as hedge fund management organization Viking Global Investors and investment bankers Goldman Sachs.

The new capital will be used to expand AlphaSense’s enterprise solution and deploy its purpose-built market intelligence alongside AI search and generative AI capabilities, all within the private cloud environment of its customers. Such an expanded product offering will enable professionals to monitor and extract critical insights from internal and external content through best-in-class AI-powered search, summarization, and chat capabilities.

The funds raised will also be used to grow AlphaSense’s already extensive collection of searchable business content, as well as to make strategic acquisitions that amplify the company’s platform capabilities and increase its value to customers. The $150 million raise arrives just months after a $100 million Series D investment led by CapitalG.

For BOND, its investment rewards AlphaSense’s strong revenue growth and the rapid adoption of the platform provider’s AI and search capabilities by more than 4,000 enterprise customers.

“At BOND, we look for iconic technology companies that are shaping the future,” says Jay Simons, general partner at BOND. “With the ability to deliver the right insights and data to help businesses confidently make the everyday, strategic decisions that ultimately define their future, AlphaSense immediately struck us as a category creator emerging into one of those iconic companies that significantly advances how the business world works.”

Since the Series D addition, AlphaSense has won a number of industry awards, including being named a market and competitive intelligence leader by Forrester Research, a top 50 AI company by Forbes, and a best workplace in 2023 by Inc.

“I couldn’t be more excited about BOND’s investment in AlphaSense,” said Jack Kokko, CEO and founder of AlphaSense. “The additional capital allows us to invest strategically, so we can continue to lead the generative AI revolution in our market, and deliver on our mission of helping businesses find the right data and insights to support more confident and agile decision-making. We are building the future of market intelligence, and we are proud to continue revolutionizing search for enterprise customers.”

Chinese AI Chip Startup Enflame Raises $274 Million

Chinese AI chip startup Enflame, backed by Shenzhen-based technology giant and entertainment conglomerate Tencent, recently raised 2 billion yuan—equivalent to USD $273.7 million—from investors, including funds backed by the Shanghai International Group, a state-owned financial holding unit engaged in banking, private equity, and asset management that is also the investment arm of the Shanghai government.

The deal comes in the wake of growing investor interest in companies working on AI chips and related infrastructure, given the unexpected but swift and massive success of generative AI and ChatGPT.

Enflame manufactures chips designed to process huge amounts of data to train AI systems. With the US banning semiconductor exports to China to prevent Chinese access to advanced AI chips that could enable Beijing to realize breakthroughs in AI, especially in military uses, China’s technology giants are investing in their own country’s semiconductor industry. Chips are an important part of China’s strategy to wean off dependence on US technology, and startups like Enflame are seen as integral to Beijing achieving its goals.

Related Research: US China Chip Controls

Enflame backer Tencent is best known for its popular messaging app WeChat, but it also has a growing cloud computing business in which Enflame chips could be of use.

Author Information

Alex is responsible for writing about trends and changes that are impacting the customer experience market. He had served as Principal Editor at Village Intelligence, a Los Angeles-based consultancy on technology impacting healthcare and healthcare-related industries. Alex was also Associate Director for Content Management at Omdia and Informa Tech, where he produced white papers, executive summaries, market insights, blogs, and other key content assets. His areas of coverage spanned the sectors grouped under the technology vertical, including semiconductors, smart technologies, enterprise & IT, media, displays, mobile, power, healthcare, China research, industrial and IoT, automotive, and transformative technologies.

At IHS Markit, he was Managing Editor of the company’s flagship IHS Quarterly, covering aerospace & defense, economics & country risk, chemicals, oil & gas, and other IHS verticals. He was Principal Editor of analyst output at iSuppli Corp. and Managing Editor of Market Watch, a fortnightly newsletter highlighting significant analyst report findings for pitching to the media. He started his career in writing as an Editor-Reporter for The Associated Press.


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