Databricks Acquires Generative AI Startup MosaicML for US$1.3 Billion

Databricks Acquires Generative AI Startup MosaicML for US$1.3 Billion

The collaboration strives to empower customers to construct and secure generative AI models effectively.

Databricks, a San Francisco-based data and artificial intelligence (AI) company, has recently finalized an agreement to acquire MosaicML, a renowned generative AI platform. This strategic move aims to democratize generative AI by empowering organizations to develop and safeguard their own AI models using their data. The transaction, valued at around US$1.3 billion, including retention packages, seeks to make generative AI more accessible and widely adopted.

The timing of this investment is significant, as it aligns with the ongoing competition among major tech giants such as Google and Microsoft, who are actively striving to integrate generative AI technology into their existing applications. The strategic move highlights the significance of proactively staying ahead to drive progress and stay at the forefront of AI advancements.

Naveen Rao, Co-Founder and CEO of MosaicML, expressed excitement about joining forces with Databricks, stating their shared vision of enabling individuals to build and train their own models. The collaboration will address the challenges associated with large-scale training, making it more accessible to a wider audience. As researchers turned entrepreneurs, both teams are aligned in their mission to advance the field of AI. 

MosaicML has gained recognition as a formidable competitor to OpenAI for its state-of-the-art MPT large language models (LLMs), which enable enterprises to take charge of building their own AI solutions. Since its introduction in May 2023, MosaicML’s MPT-7B models have garnered remarkable popularity, amassing an impressive 3.3 million downloads. The recently unveiled MPT-30B models offer enhanced quality and introduce fresh avenues for diverse applications, further expanding the horizons of possibilities in the field. Notable clients like AI2 (Allen Institute for AI), Generally Intelligent, Hippocratic AI, Replit and Scatter Labs have embraced MosaicML’s offerings to address various generative AI applications.

Empowering organizations with data control

In today’s landscape, the utilization of generative AI and large language models has become a priority for nearly every organization. The collaboration aims to address this need by offering customers a seamless solution that ensures data ownership, security and cost-efficiency through the Databricks Lakehouse Platform—a unified platform for data engineering, analytics and machine learning—and MosaicML’s advanced technology.

As per MosaicML, its technology enables significantly faster training times, with 2-7X speed improvement, and scalability, allowing organizations to train multi-billion-parameter models in a matter of hours instead of days. Furthermore, the collaborative efforts will also bring the cost linked to training and utilizing LLMs down to thousands of dollars from millions. 

Upon ‌completion of the acquisition, the entire MosaicML team, including their research division, will join forces with Databricks. MosaicML’s team consists of machine learning and neural network specialists who have made significant contributions to AI research, including the development of popular open-source foundation models like MPT-30B. Their expertise in training algorithms will further enhance the efficiency of model training within the combined entity.

“Every organization should be able to benefit from the AI revolution with more control over how their data is used. Databricks and MosaicML have an incredible opportunity to democratize AI and make the Lakehouse the best place to build generative AI and LLMs,” stated Ali Ghodsi, Co-Founder and CEO of Databricks, regarding the acquisition of MosaicML. Ghodsi emphasized the shared vision of Databricks and MosaicML in fostering transparency and open-source contributions. The collaboration between the two companies aims to provide value to customers as they navigate the transformative era of computing.

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