March 11, 2024

Custom-made gen AI for businesses: Adaptive ML closes $20m seed round

The French-American startup says it will help businesses turn off-the-shelf AI models into personalised tools

AI startup Adaptive ML has raised a $20m seed round to build custom-made generative AI models for businesses, confirming previous reporting by Sifted.

The round was led by Index Ventures, with participation from US investor ICONIQ, French family office Motier Ventures and VC IRIS, as well as billionaire Xavier Niel and HuggingFund by Factorial, the fund started by Hugging Face founder Clément Delangue and Factorial VC Matt Hartman.

The startup raised a $100m valuation, as reported by The Information. The firm did not return Sifted’s request for comment.


Adaptive’s founding team includes several engineers and researchers from French-founded open source AI platform Hugging Face — CEO Julien Launay, Daniel Hesslow, Alessandro Cappelli and Guilherme Penedo — as well as Olivier Cruchant, who previously worked in the machine learning team at Amazon Web Services.

The founding team also has experience of developing popular open source AI models Falcon and Bloom.

What does Adaptive do?

Adaptive says that it will help businesses use open source generative AI models, such as Meta’s Llama or Mistral’s 7B, to build tools that are adapted to their specific use cases. 

Many VCs and founders are betting the house on the promise that generative AI models — which are trained with huge datasets to generate content such as text or images — have the potential to greatly improve businesses’ productivity. But Adaptive says existing systems are still “generic” and “one-size-fits-all”, meaning they are not optimised for enterprises’ individual use cases.

Adapting an open source model to a particular application is a costly, time-consuming and highly technical process. 

Adaptive plans, therefore, to build personalised models for its customers, and to keep continually improving those models once they are deployed by integrating user feedback. This means the model will learn from every interaction with users and is particularly relevant for applications such as customer service or R&D assistants.

“We are streamlining the path to more intuitive, stickier genAI applications, directly driving improved user experience and business outcomes, ” said Launay, announcing the raise. “In the long-term, we envision perpetually learning models absorbing every interaction to deliver experiences unique to every user.”

Adaptive’s pitch deck, which was seen by Sifted, says it’ll be able to charge customers $120k-360k in ARR for ongoing use of its platform, and up to roughly $1m for custom models in so-called “one-off revenue,” per the document.

A French-American startup

Although it is HQ-ed in New York, the majority of Adaptive’s technical team is based in Paris. The company says that part of the funding raised will be dedicated to opening an R&D centre in the French capital directed by CTO Baptiste Pannier.

A dozen employees will be recruited in the coming year to join the R&D team.

Daphné Leprince-Ringuet

Daphné Leprince-Ringuet is a reporter for Sifted based in Paris and covering French tech. You can find her on X and LinkedIn