South Korea telco giant to invest $100m in AI start-up Anthropic

14 Aug 2023

Image: © Sundry Photography/

Multiple reports suggest that SK Telecom is set to build a new global multilingual LLM and an AI platform with Anthropic, the creator of Claude.

Alphabet-backed AI start-up Anthropic is set to raise $100m from SK Telecom, the largest telco in South Korea, to boost the company’s communications-focused AI business.

Multiple outlets report that SK Telecom will invest in Anthropic for the second time in three months. As part of the deal, the two companies will jointly develop a global telecoms-oriented, multilingual large language model (LLM) and build an AI platform.

While the South Korean giant did not reveal the size of its previous investment in Anthropic in May, the telco formed an alliance last month with Deutsche Telekom, e& and Singapore Telecommunications to jointly develop AI for telecommunications.

Anthropic was co-founded by former OpenAI employees in 2021 and is based in San Francisco. It’s Claude series of LLMs are in direct competition with OpenAI’s GPT models.

Earlier this year, Google parent Alphabet invested $300m in Anthropic for a 10pc stake, according to a Financial Times report. As a result, Anthropic agreed to make Google Cloud its “preferred cloud provider” with the companies “co-develop[ing] AI computing systems.”

Last month, the company took another shot at OpenAI’s GPT-4 with its Claude 2 model, the latest iteration of its flagship Claude generative AI chatbot.

Anthropic claims Claude 2 has improved performance, longer responses and can be accessed via API as well as a new public-facing beta website, Claude is pitched as a relatively “harmless” AI system that is capable of a wide variety of conversational and text-based tasks.

“We have heard from our users that Claude is easy to converse with, clearly explains its thinking, is less likely to produce harmful outputs and has a longer memory. We have made improvements from our previous models on coding, math and reasoning,” Anthropic said last month.

Just last week, Anthropic unveiled an improved version of Claude Instant, its faster and cheaper text-generating model available through an API. The company claims the new version shows “significant” gains in areas such as maths, coding, reasoning and safety.

10 things you need to know direct to your inbox every weekday. Sign up for the Daily Brief, Silicon Republic’s digest of essential sci-tech news.

Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic