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OpenPipe, a Seattle-based startup aiming to simplify the process of training and deploying large language models, recently announced a $6.7 million seed funding round. The company was part of Y Combinator’s summer cohort and allows developers to create specialized language models tailored to their specific needs, potentially resulting in improved performance and reduced costs compared to using more generalized models like OpenAI’s ChatGPT. OpenPipe is targeting companies interested in leveraging generative AI for specific use cases rather than needing a chatbot that can answer any question, such as a financial services company that successfully reduced costs and errors by switching to OpenPipe.

OpenPipe, founded by CEO Kyle Corbitt and his brother David Corbitt, launched last year and has experienced significant growth, although specific revenue metrics were not disclosed. The company earns revenue by charging customers for model fine-tuning and production usage. Many businesses across various industries are increasingly adopting generative AI technologies, but the high costs associated with training, deploying, and updating models can be a potential barrier. OpenPipe aims to provide smaller specialized models that are more cost-effective and catered to specific use cases, allowing businesses to leverage generative AI without requiring advanced machine learning expertise.

One of OpenPipe’s key selling points is that its software is designed to be user-friendly and does not necessitate deep machine learning or data science skills. Full-stack app engineers can successfully train specialized models for their specific needs without relying on external experts. Kyle Corbitt, the co-founder of OpenPipe, has a background in engineering and previously founded a family history startup called Emberall. Corbitt’s brother, David Corbitt, also brings engineering experience from companies like Qualtrics and Palantir, as well as co-founding a video legacy startup called GenerationalStory.

Costanoa Ventures, a Silicon Valley-based early-stage firm, led OpenPipe’s seed funding round, which also included contributions from Y Combinator and individual investors such as Logan Kilpatrick, former head of developer relations at OpenAI, Alex Graveley, creator of GitHub Copilot, and Tom Preston-Werner, co-founder of GitHub. The funding will likely be used to further develop OpenPipe’s technology, expand its customer base, and accelerate its growth in the competitive AI market. As more businesses seek to incorporate generative AI into their products and services, OpenPipe’s specialized models and user-friendly platform could appeal to companies looking for cost-effective AI solutions tailored to their unique requirements.

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