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Anthropic, an artificial intelligence (AI) start-up, is in talks to raise $2bn in funding, reported Bloomberg, citing sources.

The news comes shortly after Amazon agreed to invest $4bn in the two-year-old start-up, which also counts technology giant Google among its backers.

Anthropic offers an AI chatbot, called Claude, which competes with Microsoft-backed OpenAI’s ChatGPT.

Claude allows users to submit prompts or requests and get relevant answers.

According to the sources, the talks are at an early stage and a deal is yet to be finalised.

Separately, technology news site The Information, citing a source, reported that Anthropic is looking to raise funding at a valuation between $20bn and $30bn.

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Anthropic has told potential investors that Google could also join the round, said The Information.

If the deal goes through, it would be the most recent significant funding for a business developing foundation models that use massive quantities of data and serve as the backbone for many AI applications.

Due to the models’ high operating costs, businesses such as Anthropic and OpenAI require a lot of funding to maintain the technology.

One source with knowledge of the discussions told Bloomberg that Anthropic’s corporate backers are keen to continue supporting the start-up, but it is likely that the deal would not finalise until a financial investor, such as a Wall Street company or significant venture capital investor, agrees to participate.

This investor can be asked to lead the round and set the company’s valuation.

Set up in 2021 by former employees of OpenAI, siblings Daniela Amodei and Dario Amodei, Anthropic raised $450m in a Series C funding round, with Google participation, in May.

Late September 2023, Amazon agreed to invest $4bn in Anthropic, which will leverage Amazon’s cloud computing capabilities and AI chips to train its language models.