The 5 generative AI investment winners of 2023

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The launch of ChatGPT in November 2022 sparked a torrent of generative AI investment as businesses globally looked to capitalize on the transformative potential of this technology. 

Across the year, AI startups raised more than $68.7 billion, according to data from Pitchbook, underlining the serious appetite among investors to back up-and-coming players in the space.

Tech giants such as Microsoft, Google, and Amazon, have also pledged significant funding for generative AI startups, with Microsoft in particular pouring billions into OpenAI in a bid to integrate AI tools and applications across its product portfolio.

With such huge volumes of funding pouring into AI companies over the last 12 months, it’s been hard at times to keep track. 

To keep you in the loop, ITPro has pulled together a list of some of the biggest generative AI investment deals of 2023.

Generative AI investment: Who scored big in 2023?


OpenAI and ChatGPT logos displayed on a smartphone

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ChatGPT creator OpenAI has quickly become synonymous with the generative AI boom. They've inspired a host of copycat tools, and they’ve garnered an impressive amount of funding. 

Though they have several investors, Microsoft’s $10 billion investment in January is the most notable.

They’ve raised about $11.3 billion in total over the course of the year, clearly intent to maintain a lead over their competition. The close relationship between Microsoft and OpenAI has been a source of concern for regulators in recent months, with the ties between the two being equated to a merger.

What’s clear, however, is that Microsoft views OpenAI as an integral part of its ambition to continue leading the generative AI race and differentiate it from competition.

OpenAI tools have been integrated across the length and breadth of Microsoft’s product portfolio, from Copilot support in Windows and Azure to Microsoft 365, OpenAI is woven into the very fabric of the tech giant’s offerings.


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AI-powered data intelligence platform Databricks has been quietly securing a hold in the generative AI market with ambitious plans for a new AI-based data intelligence platform


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The company raised $500 million in September, bringing their current valuation up to a whopping$43 billion. 

While Databricks hasn’t quite shared the limelight to the same extent as other industry players, this company is innovating at pace and has even been on an acquisition spree of its own this year.

In October, the firm announced it had acquired enterprise data company Arcion in a deal valued at around $100 million.

Databricks has also been an outspoken critic of counterparts in the space and has addressed concerns that major players in the AI industry appear intent on domination. 

In June, a senior company figure told ITPro that OpenAI and other tech giants have “widely overstated” the dangers of AI in a bid to create a stranglehold on the industry.

Mistral AI

Mistral AI co-founder and CEO Arthur Mensch

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Emerging as Europe’s answer to OpenAI, Mistral recently secured $415 million in a Series A funding round that ended in early December. 

This funding round saw the French startup's valuation surge to around $2 billion.

Following this investment, Mistral AI announced a partnership with Google Cloud. Though the deal was not financial, it will likely align Mistral with Google’s AI plans going forward.

Mistral is now one of a number of emerging AI innovators that have secured backing from major industry players, and in the year ahead all eyes will be on the Paris-based firm as it prepares for a battle with US rivals.

Inflection AI

Inflection AI logo displayed on a smartphone

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Inflection AI, the firm behind conversational AI chatbot Pi, raised a whopping $1.3 billion in funding in June as part of a funding round that involved major industry players such as Microsoft and Nvidia. 

This funding round took Inflection’s valuation to around $4 billion.

Much like Databricks, Inflection has been quietly innovating this year and doesn’t appear to have shared the same hype and hyperbole as industry players like OpenAI. That’s not to say it isn’t making waves, however.

In November, the firm debuted its flagship large language model (LLM), Inflection 2. This powerful model can outperform most industry models, the company said at the time, with the exception of GPT-4.


Anthropic logo is displayed on a smartphone with stock market percentages on the background

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Anthropic has had a stellar year that saw the OpenAI rival raise a combined total of around $6 billion. 

In September, AWS announced it would invest $4 billion in the San Francisco-based firm and become its primary cloud provider. Hot on the heels of this backing, Google also pledged its support for Anthropic in a $2 billion deal.

Anthropic, it seems, has found itself in a unique position this year with the backing of two of the three major hyperscalers. AWS and Google appear to view Anthropic as their preferred champion to contend with OpenAI in 2024 and beyond.

Just this week, Anthropic also unveiled plans to raise an additional $750 million in funding as part of a round led by Melo Ventures. Anthropic is certainly one to watch in 2024.

George Fitzmaurice
Staff Writer

George Fitzmaurice is a staff writer at ITPro, ChannelPro, and CloudPro, with a particular interest in AI regulation, data legislation, and market development. After graduating from the University of Oxford with a degree in English Language and Literature, he undertook an internship at the New Statesman before starting at ITPro. Outside of the office, George is both an aspiring musician and an avid reader.