The race for dominance in AI has reached a fever pitch. Elon Musk’s xAI startup, founded last year, has now secured a total of massive $6 billion in Series B funding, according to an official blog post on the matter. xAI’s pre-money valuation amounted to $18 billion.

The $6 billion funding round was one of the largest Series B investments ever witnessed in the AI space, and included the participation of the likes of Valor Equity Partners, Vy Capital, Andreessen Horowitz, Sequoia Capital, and others. With established players like OpenAI boasting popular offerings like ChatGPT, xAI plans to deploy the funding to bring its first AI products to market. This could involve launching a suite of AI-powered tools or services that compete directly with existing solutions. Furthermore, a portion of the funding is likely earmarked for acquiring and developing powerful infrastructure like graphics processing units (GPUs). The funding will also fuel further research and development (R&D) efforts. This allows xAI to push the boundaries of AI capabilities and stay ahead of the curve in this rapidly evolving field.

This funding round marks a significant return for Musk to the world of AI. He was a co-founder of OpenAI in 2015, but later parted ways due to disagreements over its direction, particularly its shift towards closed-source models. Musk has been a vocal critic of bias in AI technologies developed by tech giants, raising concerns about their potential negative impact. “There will be more to announce in the coming weeks,” Musk said in another post on X.

Since its inception in July 2023, xAI has been aggressively developing its flagship AI model, Grok. This large language model (LLM) is designed with a distinct philosophy – to be “truthful, competent, and maximally beneficial for all of humanity.” xAI claims that Grok outperforms some established LLMs on industry benchmarks like GSM8K and HumanEval. Since then, Grok has undergone several iterations, each boasting improved capabilities. Grok 1.5 introduced enhanced reasoning and problem-solving abilities, allowing it to tackle complex questions and tasks more effectively. Grok 1.5V added multimodality, a crucial feature that enables it to understand information not just from text but also from images and documents.

“xAI will continue on this steep trajectory of progress over the coming months, with multiple exciting technology updates and products soon to be announced. The funds from the round will be used to take xAI’s first products to market, build advanced infrastructure, and accelerate the research and development of future technologies. xAI is primarily focused on the development of advanced AI systems that are truthful, competent, and maximally beneficial for all of humanity. The company’s mission is to understand the true nature of the universe,” xAI said in its blog post.