Alphabet’s Google is in talks to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in Character.AI as the artificial intelligence chatbot startup grows rapidly and seeks capital to train models to keep up with consumer demand.
According to Reuters, the investment could be structured as a convertible loan and would deepen Character.AI’s existing partnership with Google. In particular, Character.AI uses Google Cloud services and Tensor Processing Units (TPUs – an application-specific integrated circuit to accelerate AI calculations and algorithms) to train models.
Founded by ex-Google employees Noam Shazeer and Daniel De Freitas, Character.AI allows users to chat with virtual versions of stars like Billie Eilish or anime characters. In addition to the free version, Character.AI also has a paid subscription model for $9.99 a month.
Character.AI’s chatbots, with a variety of roles and styles to choose from, have attracted users between the ages of 18 and 24, contributing about 60% of its website traffic, according to data. Data from Similarweb. This user group helps position the company as a provider of fun personal AI assistants, compared to other artificial intelligence chatbots like ChatGPT OpenAI’s Bard. and Google’s
Character.AI said the site attracted 100 million monthly visits in the first six months since launch. The company is also negotiating to raise capital from investors, which if successful could help value the company to over 5 billion USD.