Alibaba Leads Funding for Large-Scale Model Startup MiniMax

According to sources familiar with the matter, the large-scale model startup project MiniMax is undergoing a new round of major financing, with Alibaba as the core lead investor (the largest venture capitalist in this round of financing). Prior to this, MiniMax had completed three rounds of financing, with investors including Tencent and miHoYo. As of press time, neither MiniMax nor Alibaba has responded to requests for confirmation.

And not long ago, another large-scale innovative enterprise ‘Moonshot AI’ also reported completing a $1 billion financing, with investors reportedly including Alibaba. Reports indicate that in this round of substantial financing for Moonshot AI, most of the funds came from Alibaba, making Alibaba an institutional major shareholder outside the Moonshot AI team after this round of financing. In addition, part of Alibaba‘s investment in this transaction is related to computing power payments.

SEE ALSO: Moonshot AI Secured $1 Billion Investment

Sources familiar with the matter said that the latest round of financing for MiniMax is still ongoing, and the final amount has not been fully determined yet, ‘but it will be a large sum of financing similar to that of Moonshot AI.’ The report also mentioned that in these recent two large-scale financings for domestic large models, most of the funds came from Alibaba‘s investment.

After the beginning of the year, Alibaba‘s investment strategy for domestic large models is becoming ‘more aggressive’, with both the frequency and amount of investments clearly increasing. Prior to this, Alibaba had already invested in Baichuan Intelligence, Zhipu AI, and 01.AI.

Last June, MiniMax announced that it is about to complete a financing round exceeding $250 million. After the completion of the financing, its valuation will reach around $1.2 billion.

MiniMax was founded by some former employees of SenseTime Technology in 2021, including Yan Junjie, former Vice President of SenseTime Technology and Deputy Dean of SenseTime Research Institute. The company is researching artificial intelligence solutions similar to ChatGPT.