Cohere, a generative artificial intelligence (AI) startup, has secured a funding of $250m to accelerate growth, reported The New York Times, citing sources.

The deal values the Toronto, Canada-based company at $2bn, the sources said.

The funding round was joined by investors such as Salesforce, NVIDIA, Inovia Capital and Index Ventures.

Set up in 2019, Cohere develops technology infrastructure that can be used by others to deploy AI-powered products such as chatbots and search engines, among others.

The company is said to be developing technology that can potentially competes with systems being developed at OpenAI.

Aidan Gomez and Nick Frosst, two Canadian researchers who previously worked on artificial intelligence at Google, along with Toronto entrepreneur Ivan Zhang, founded Cohere.

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By GlobalData

Gomez was also involved in the publication of a significant research paper that contributed to the development of ChatGPT and similar technologies.

In November 2022, the San Francisco-based OpenAI started the generative AI race by launching ChatGPT.

Since its launch, ChatGPT has garnered interest from people from around the globe for its ability to generate human-like responses to prompts.

The chatbot has also left technology companies scrambling to dominate the generative AI market.

In a murky economic environment where funding for other start-ups has been scarce, investors have flooded the few businesses at the forefront of generative AI with cash.

Most recently, OpenAI raised $300m at over $27bn valuation, which followed a $10bn investment from Microsoft in February this year., another startup that creates online chatbots, raised $150m in a funding round in March, valuing the business at $1bn.