March 14 (Reuters) – Artificial intelligence (AI) startup Adept said on Tuesday it had raised $350 million in a Series B funding round led by General Catalyst and Spark Capital, as it builds enterprise applications amid the frenzy triggered by rival OpenAI’s ChatGPT.

The funding came less than a year after it raised $65 million in April 2022, signaling strong investor interest in AI startups in an overall slow venture market.

Adept didn’t disclose its valuation, but sources familiar with the matter said the company was a “unicorn”, a term that describes startups that are valued at more than $1 billion.

Adept said it planned to use the new funds to launch its initial products, train models and recruit more AI talent.

Big tech companies from Alphabet Inc (GOOGL.O) to Baidu Inc (9888.HK) are speeding up the integration of generative AI into their offerings after Microsoft (MSFT.O)-backed ChatGPT took the internet by storm for its ability to generate human-like responses.

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Founded by former Google researchers, Adept focuses on training a neural network to perform general tasks for enterprise clients. It has been working with companies to use their data to help create a natural language interface to access existing software such as Adobe Photoshop (ADBE.O) and Airtable.

The startup recently experienced some management reshuffles when co-founders Niki Parmar and Ashish Vaswani left the company, but that did not hinder the fundraising given strong investor interest.

“The language models they have is really action-oriented, as opposed to prompt oriented. There’s just so much to be done to make your knowledge workers a lot more efficient and effective,” said Deep Nishar, managing partner at General Catalyst who led the firm’s investment in Adept.

Reporting by Ananya Mariam Rajesh in Bengaluru and Krystal Hu in San Francisco; Editing by Devika Syamnath and Jamie Freed

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Ananya reports on the U.S. Consumer and Retail Sector covering breaking and business news on publicly listed retailers, apparel makers, cruises, luxury brands, beverage companies and restaurants groups.