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It's raining in San Francisco again... 

Here are a few great reads and lists for this week:

  • Top 9 Most Funded Generative AI Startups are:
    • OpenAI raised $11B from Microsoft, Khosla Ventures, Reid Hoffman Foundation
    • Anthropic (Series B) raised $1B from Google, SBF, Eric Schmidt
    • Cohere (Series B) raised $164.9M from Index Ventures, Radical Ventures, Tiger Global, Fei-Fei Li
    • Hugging Face (Series C) raised $160.2M from Lux Capital, A.Capital, Betaworks, SV Angel, Addition, Sequoia Capital
    • Jasper (Series A) raised $131M from Foundation Capital, HubSpot Ventures, Insight Partners, IVP
    • Descript (Series C) raised $100M from a16z, Redpoint, Spark Capital
    • Runway (Series C) raised $95.5M from Lux Capital, Amplify, Coatue
    • Forethought (Series C) raised $92M from K9 Ventures, NEA, South Park Commons, Village Global, Sound Ventures
    • Stability AI (seed) raised £89M from Coatue and Lightspeed
  • Twitter Clones - Twitter is in crisis mode these days. Under Elon, the service has lost more than half its staff through layoffs and quitting, made erratic moves in its product and platform strategies and is facing up to reports about its financial state. Quite a few startups are hoping to  challenge Twitter. Here is a short list:
  • Meta is back? Almost 20 years in, Facebook is still growing and just surpassed 2 billion daily active users. While Facebook isn’t the first Meta-owned platform to reach 2 billion daily users — WhatsApp also recently crossed 2 billion DAUs. Stock jumped nearly 20% this past week. 
  • Foundation Models: The future (still) isn’t happening fast enough - I really like this blog posted on Foundation Models by Madrona. The emergence of the cloud a generation ago provided computing power previously not possible, enabling new areas of computer science, including transformer models. That model architecture demonstrated that you can use cloud compute to build much larger models that generalize better and are capable of new tasks, such as text and image generation, summarization, and categorization
  • 500,000 Free Air Tickets to Hong Kong The “Hello Hong Kong” campaign, which was launched this past week, includes 500,000 free air tickets over the next six months starting in March. Hong Kong's John Lee is featured in a new video promo to "rebooting" the city. Even though all the different videos are a bit over the top. I do think Hong Kong does deserve some credits for trying. The tickets will be given out through three Hong Kong’s carriers — Cathay Pacific, HK Express and Hong Kong Airlines.

This week a total of 23 startups raised $664.1M in funding, 1 M&A:

  • $117.4M goes to 7 Enterprise startups
  • $300M goes to 1 Generative AI startup
  • $43.4M goes to 3 FinTech startups
  • $13.5M goes to 2 Crypto/Web3 startups
  • $4.5M goes to 1 HRTech startup
  • $12.5M goes to 1 EdTech startup
  • $19.5M goes to 1 Real Estate startup
  • $36.5M goes to 1 Autonomous Vehicle startup
  • $50M goes to 1 Transportation startup
  • $8.8M goes to 1 Healthcare startup
  • $8M goes to 1 Wellness startup
  • $25M goes to 1 BioTech startup
  • $25M goes to 2 Clean/Renewable Energy startups
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