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Artificial Intelligence Startup iGenius Seeks Funding at €1.7 Billion Valuation

In Technology
June 10, 2024

(Bloomberg) — Artificial intelligence startup iGenius, which wants to compete with OpenAI and other generative AI companies, is seeking to raise €650 million ($698 million) at a post-money valuation of about €1.7 billion, Chief Executive Officer Uljan Sharka said on Monday.

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Completing a funding round at a so-called unicorn valuation would catapult the Italian startup into the elite ranks of hot, well-capitalized AI companies emerging from Europe, including France’s Mistral AI and Germany’s DeepL. IGenius is banking on continued investor enthusiasm for plowing money into the sector, even as some industry veterans warn that further progress in foundational models will mostly come from incumbent players such as Meta Platforms Inc. and Alphabet Inc.

Milan-based iGenius has launched a product known as “Italia,” which Sharka describes as an open-source foundational large language model designed to be used by organizations in the financial services industry, among others.

The startup has secured backing at a pre-money valuation of €1.05 billion from investors including Angel Capital Management — the family office of Angelo Moratti — and Eurizon Asset Management, which is part of Eurizon Capital, Sharka said. It is also in ongoing talks with other potential investors, he added.

iGenius works with companies including Allianz SE, Aon Plc, Enel SpA and Intesa Sanpaolo SpA, Sharka said. It aims to reach €20 million of annual recurring revenue by the end of 2024, he added.

Italy’s privacy regulator temporarily banned OpenAI’s ChatGPT in the country in 2023 over concerns that the company was hoovering up user data. The regulator concluded in January that OpenAI had breached Italian users’ privacy.

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