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Weekly News of 08th of May

Meta to raise $8.5 billion in second bond offering


Meta Platforms Iis looking to raise $8.5 billion in a five-part bond offering, its second issue after it raised $10 billion last year, reports Bloomberg.

The Facebook-parent said the bond issue’s longest 40-year security could yield 192 basis points over Treasuries.

It will use the funds to help finance capital expenditures, repurchase outstanding shares of its common stock, and for acquisitions or investments, Meta said.

Last week, the company beat expectations for first-quarter profit and revenue, resulting in a 13% surge in its shares.


Top ex-Google AI researchers raise funding from Thrive Capital


Two prominent former Google researchers who authored the groundbreaking paper that paved the way for the generative AI boom, have raised $8 million for their new startup Essential AI, reports Reuters.

Thrive Capital had led the round in Essential AI, founded by Ashish Vaswani and Niki Parmar. The company is still in stealth mode and hasn’t launched any product. Conviction and angel investor Elad Gil also participated in the round, one source close to the company added.

The raise came after Vaswani and Parmar left Adept AI, a company they also co-founded in 2021 with former Google director David Luan. Adept, focused on training a neural network to perform general tasks for enterprise clients, has raised $415 million from investors including General Catalyst. EssentialAI is not in direct competition with Adept, sources added.

Vaswani and Parmar are the first and third authors on Google’s 2017 research paper “Attention Is All You Need”, which introduced the “transformer” deep learning architecture that went on to become the basis for viral chatbot ChatGPT and the current race to develop products powered by generative AI.

The duo join other authors on the famous paper who have left Google to start their own ventures and subsequently attracted millions in funding from venture investors, including Noam Shazeer, who is running AI chatbot startup Character.AI, and Aidan Gomez, who founded large language model startup Cohere.


Centene to divest AI platform Apixio


Centene Corp will sell its artificial intelligence-powered healthcare analytics platform Apixio to investment firm New Mountain Capital as part of an ongoing portfolio review, reports Reuters.

The company, which acquired Apixio in December 2020, did not disclose the terms of the transaction.

Apixio compiles and analyzes large volumes of unstructured patient data, including medical charts and physician’s notes, into insights and curated data.


Advance Intelligence raises $80 mln, led by Warburg Pincus, Northstar


Singapore-based Advance Intelligence Group has raised $80 million from a consortium led by existing investors Warburg Pincus and Northstar Group, reports Reuters.

Advance Intelligence raised $400 million in its previous funding round in 2021 and has raised more than $700 million since it was founded in 2016, its statement said.

Advance Intelligence’s businesses include payments platform Atome and Indonesian digital lending platform Kredit Pintar, the company said.