Uncharted Labs, an AI startup founded by three Google Deepmind researchers, raises $8.5 million in funding
As OpenAI and Google continue to advance in developing artificial intelligence for conversational chatbots like ChatGPT, a new wave of startups is emerging to take the lead in the burgeoning realm of AI agents. In this space, these agents employ comparable technology to handle intricate tasks such as booking flights and conducting competitor analysis.
One such newcomer is Uncharted Labs, a generative AI startup founded by three former Google researchers renowned for their work in AI-generated images and music.
The founders, David Ding, Charlie Nash, and Yaroslav Ganin, who played pivotal roles in Google’s development of generative AI systems like Imagen and Lyria, have left the tech giant to launch their own venture. Their departure mirrors a growing trend of AI researchers exiting Google, prompting the company to dangle special stock deals to retain talent.
Based in New York, Uncharted Labs has secured $8.5 million of its $10 million fundraising target, with investors like Andreessen Horowitz showing interest, The Information reported. Before founding Uncharted Labs, Ding previously led a 30-person research team at Deepmind.
The decision to leave Google stemmed from frustrations over the company’s sluggish translation of AI research into practical products and internal bureaucratic hurdles, compounded by the merger with Deepmind. Uncharted Labs joins a cohort of startups founded by Google alumni, including Character AI, Mistral, Sakana AI, and Reka AI.
Uncharted Labs represents the latest examples of top-tier researchers encountering bureaucratic hurdles while trying to launch their AI products at Google. Instead of wrestling with these delays, they’ve opted to seize the excitement of venture investors by venturing out on their own.
This departure from DeepMind isn’t an anomaly. Throughout the AI industry, professionals are departing from established tech firms to launch their own startups. This shift allows them to pursue their goals more freely, avoiding the red tape of corporate structures.
Another example is Mistral. The startup has quickly risen to prominence in the foundational models sector since its inception. Notably, its team comprises former researchers from Meta and Google DeepMind. Similarly, startups like Character AI and Eleven Labs have garnered attention and substantial investment from venture capital firms.
According to The Information, Uncharted Labs aims to push the boundaries of AI research and innovation. With significant funding already secured, the startup is poised to embark on its ambitious journey with confidence. While specific details about Uncharted Labs’ projects are still under wraps, their expertise in AI, honed during their time at DeepMind, is expected to yield groundbreaking advancements in the field.
The potential involvement of Andreessen Horowitz, a renowned venture capital firm with a track record of backing transformative tech ventures, only adds to the excitement surrounding this startup.