Disputes, Employee Misconduct Rattle Centerview’s Silicon Valley DreamsRead more

Photo by Getty

Google, Nvidia and Microsoft Offer What VCs Can’t

Photo: Photo by Getty

Welcome back,

Amid all the hype for generative artificial intelligence, some venture capitalists have refused to join the fray. These young companies need so much capital and so much computing resources, the VC skeptics say, that they’ll have little chance of competing against Google, Amazon and other big tech companies that may soon have similar products.

Our recent reporting this week was a reminder of how the internet giants are staking out territory as investors in generative AI as well. While their interest isn’t bad for investors that back the AI startups early, it makes things difficult for the late-stage firms pursuing the same rounds. Answer me this: Why would an AI startup choose a venture firm, which can offer only capital, over Google, Microsoft, AWS, Oracle or Nvidia? These companies, of course, can also write huge checks—plus provide resources like cloud credits and graphics processing units.

“If you want the donuts, you go to the baker,” as one venture capitalist put it this week. 

Access on the go
View stories on our mobile app and tune into our weekly podcast.
Join live video Q&A’s
Deep-dive into topics like startups and autonomous vehicles with our top reporters and other executives.
Enjoy a clutter-free experience
Read without any banner ads.
Former Apple design chief Jony Ive and OpenAI CEO Sam Altman. Photos by Getty.
Designer Jony Ive and OpenAI’s Sam Altman Discuss AI Hardware Project
Jony Ive, the renowned designer of the iPhone, and OpenAI CEO Sam Altman have been discussing building a new AI hardware device, according to two people familiar with the conversations.
From left to right: Blair Effron, Robert Pruzan and David Handler. Photos by Getty; Tidal Partners.
Exclusive Finance
Disputes, Employee Misconduct Rattle Centerview’s Silicon Valley Dreams
The San Francisco Bay Area–based bankers at Centerview Partners, the investment bank that advised Silicon Valley Bank’s owner and Credit Suisse through recent turmoil, got two doses of bad news last week.
Art by Clark Miller
Exclusive startups entertainment
MasterClass Takes a Crash Course in Frugality
MasterClass had a problem with the shoot featuring its latest star instructor, Walt Disney Co. CEO Bob Iger.
OpenAI CEO Sam Altman and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. Photos via Getty
Exclusive microsoft ai
How Microsoft is Trying to Lessen Its Addiction to OpenAI as AI Costs Soar
Microsoft’s push to put artificial intelligence into its software has hinged almost entirely on OpenAI , the startup Microsoft funded in exchange for the right to use its cutting-edge technology.
Art by Clark Miller
The Big Read policy
Europe Has Figured Out How to Tame Big Tech. Can the U.S. Learn Its Tricks?
Late last month in Belgium, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) had a pressing question for Paul Tang, a Dutch politician and member of the European Parliament.
If AI researchers can meet Nat Friedman's Vesuvius Challenge, “It’ll be the first time we’ve read handwriting that hasn’t been seen in 2,000 years.” Art by Clark Miller
The AI Age culture ai
Nat Versus the Volcano: Can an AI Investor Solve an Ancient Mystery from the Ashes of Vesuvius?
Long before men’s daily thoughts about ancient Rome became a TikTok meme , former GitHub CEO Nat Friedman’s mind was regularly turning toward the Roman Empire.