OpenAI and AP Struck a Deal, Silo Bagged $132M, and More SF Tech News

Here’s some Bay Area tech news you may have missed last week. 
Written by Ellen Glover
July 17, 2023Updated: July 17, 2023
Silo Leadership Team
Silo leadership team. | Photo: Silo Technologies

From supply chain tech to autonomous robots, a variety of San Francisco startups saw some dollar signs last week. And a landmark partnership was announced between a major U.S. news company and a certain AI giant. Keep reading to get all the details with the Built In SF Weekly Refresh. 

OpenAI and the Associated Press are teaming up. This agreement between perhaps the most important AI company right now and one of the world’s oldest and most well-read newswire services, is among the first of its kind. As part of the deal, OpenAI will license some of the AP’s text archive dating back to the 1980s to help train its large language model. In exchange, the AP will get access to OpenAI’s technology and product expertise. While the AP was one of the first national news outlets to use automation in its operations, it does not use generative AI to help write its actual news stories, and it does not appear that it has any plans to. [Axios]

Silo Technologies got $132M. The supply chain tech startup announced last Tuesday that it is coming into $132 million of new capital, $32 of which is Series C funding led by Koch Disruptive Technologies, with participation from existing investors including Andreessen Horowitz, Tribe Capital and more. The additional $100 million is courtesy of First Citizens Bank, which is partnering with Silo to launch the company’s new funding program called Cash Advance. Silo provides fintech solutions to help distributors and grower shipper businesses of the perishable food supply chain, offering them a way to better understand their cash flow and financing with data insights. Now, this Series C funding will go toward building out Silo’s SaaS and financial services products. [PR Newswire]

Zluri closed on $20M. The Series B round was led by Lightspeed, and will be used to expand Zluri’s generative AI capabilities in SaaS operations with CoPilot, an AI-powered platform that allows teams to create on and offboarding workflows based on company app usage data. Overall, the startup helps companies’ IT teams discover, manage, optimize, secure and automate their SaaS apps from a central dashboard. Serving some 250 enterprise clients around the world right now, Zluri also plans to use this $20 million to expand its presence in Europe and North America. And it plans to hire talent with a focus on its go-to-market operations. This includes growing its nine-person U.S.-based team to 25 people by the end of the year. [Built In SF]


SF Tech Quote of the Week

“Businesses-of-One generate $1.4 trillion in revenue yet have been underserved by traditional back-office software and service providers. Their options are to use a patchwork of pricey tools, hire a team of advisors — made harder by a growing accountant shortage — or do all the finance and payroll work themselves. Countless entrepreneurial success stories are being held back by paperwork. AI is allowing us to solve that problem faster and help more solopreneurs launch and grow their businesses.” — Hooman Radfar, CEO and co-founder of Collective

Collective raised $50M. Collective offers financial services tailored to freelancers, including business formation, S-election, payroll, tax and bookkeeping solutions. The startup also uses large language models to develop AI copilots, which collaborate with Collective’s team of tax experts, accountants and bookkeepers to speed up processes like bank reconciliations and expense categorization. With this fresh funding, the company plans to develop additional generative AI tools, scale its operations and onboard the nearly 100,000 businesses on its waitlist. Several major investors participated in the round, including Google’s AI Fund, General Catalyst and Gradient Ventures. [GlobeNewswire]

Simbe Robotics pulled in $28M. Simbe creates fully autonomous robots that are used in retail settings. Its feature robot, Tally, uses AI, computer vision, radio frequency identification and edge computing to help stores better manage and audit their inventory. Led by Eclipse, this Series B round brings Simbe’s total funding raised to $54 million, and will be used to accelerate its global expansion, enter future product areas in both in-store and e-commerce, and grow its team. [GlobeNewswire]

In more funding news: AI-powered recruitment platform RecruitBot raised $8.2 million in additional seed funding from Slow Ventures and others after getting $3 million last year. [PRWeb]

And Peaxy, a cloud software company providing battery lifecycle analytics and digital twins, closed on a $12 million Series B2 funding round. [PR Newswire]

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