Open-Source AI Platform Sentient Secures $85M Seed Round Co-Led by Founders Fund

Sentient is building community-driven open-source AI models that are capable of competing with Sam Altman’s OpenAI.
Image source:

Quick take:

  • Sentient features Polygon co-founder Sandeep Nailwal as one of its key contributors.
  • Nailwal sees Sentient as an avenue for Polygon’s expansion in AI.
  • Sentient allows contributors not only to use the model and build apps, but also contribute to the model itself.

Sentient has raised $85 million in a seed round co-led by Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund, Framework Ventures and Pantera Capital. The fundraising also attracted participation from Ethereal Ventures, Robot Ventures, Symbolic Capital, Delphi Ventures, Hack VC, Arrington Capital, HashKey Capital, Canonical Crypto and Foresight Ventures.

Sentient is being developed by Polygon co-founder and chief business officer Sandeep Nailwal, joined by two university professors, Pramod Viswanath, the Forrest G. Hamrick Professor of Engineering at Princeton University and Himanshu Tyagi, a Professor of Engineering at the Indian Institute of Science.

The company is building what it calls open-source AI models, a potential competitor to Sam Altman’s OpenAI. According to the announcement, unlike OpenAI, which only allows users to access the model and build apps, Sentient will also allow the community to contribute to the model itself.

“AI today is becoming incredibly centralised, and the safety and ethics of AI are also questionable,” Nailwal told The Block. “So community-built AI models are the key.”

The open-source AI startup said it plans to launch “Campaigns” for contributors, with specific rewards for each campaign, including “co-ownership of the AI model they help create and future rewards on its usage,” Tyagi said.

Commenting on his firm’s leading role in the fundraising, Joey Krug, partner at Founders Fund, said in a statement: “Currently, anyone is able to just copy models without paying for them, and Sentient aims to solve this incentive problem which disincentivizes open source AI. This is a really interesting research area and we’re thrilled to support the team at Sentient as they make this vision a reality.”

Sentient plans to launch in testnet in the third quarter of 2024 and Tyagi believes the capital raise will play a crucial role in achieving that goal. “AI is capital-intensive, and talent is very costly.” With a workforce of less than 20, Tyagi said the company is planning to hire 10 people soon to join its research and engineering teams.

Stay on top of things:

Subscribe to our newsletter using this link – we won’t spam!

Follow us on X and Telegram.

Previous Post

BlockDAG Price Surges 1,300%, Enters Batch 19

Next Post

Lombard Ramps Up the Development of Its BTC-Restaking Protocol with $16M Seed Round

Related Posts