Amazon Offers $230 Million In Cloud Credits To AI Firms

Amazon announced a $230 million investment in artificial intelligence startups in the form of Amazon Web Service (AWS) credits, the latest example of cloud providers attempting to attract AI clients in their early phases.

The credits will give early-stage generative AI startups free access to processing capacity, a variety of AI models, and infrastructure if they establish their businesses on AWS.

Amazon says it already provides $1 billion in cloud credits to startups each year, with the additional commitment focusing on generative AI businesses.

“They’ll be able to iterate very quickly and pivot very quickly as necessary. Then ultimately, when they hit on that home run, they’ll be able to double down and get to the scale with security, responsibility and consistency,” said Matt Wood, vice president of AI Products at AWS.

According to the firm, some of the credits will also benefit 80 early-stage companies around the world through the AWS Generative AI Accelerator program. Each startup accepted into the accelerator may receive up to $1 million in AWS credits.

Cloud providers, ranging from Microsoft Azure to Google Cloud, frequently offer credits to entice corporations to use their services, as cloud expenses can add up for a company as its usage grows.

Amazon expanded its cloud credits earlier this year to cover the usage of models from providers such as Anthropic, Meta (META.O), Mistral AI, and Cohere, with the goal of increasing market share for its AI platform.

AI demand has increased the use of cloud services, contributing to the rapid expansion of cloud providers. For example, AWS’s sales increased 17% to $9.42 billion in the first quarter, exceeding analyst projections. Regulators are also looking at tech giants’ investments in AI companies due to antitrust concerns.

Howard Wright, AWS’s worldwide president of Startups who oversaw startup ties, recently left the business, according to people familiar with the situation. Amazon has declined to comment on the move.

Komal Patil: