February 27, 2023

What is generative AI anyway? Everything we know so far

All of Sifted's coverage on this transformative tech

Alex Oscroft

4 min read

Image: DALL-E

First we had the world wide web; then smartphones came along to change our digital lives. Now VCs are excited that the next revolution could be here — one that's based on generative AI.

In the last six months interest in the tech — which is basically the use of artificial intelligence to create new text, images, video, audio or code — has exploded. The hype’s been led by ChatGPT, the chatbot developed by Silicon Valley-based OpenAI, which became the fastest-growing consumer application in history when it surpassed 100m monthly active users two months after launch.

All this means one thing for investors and startups — the money’s started flowing and it’s all anyone seems to be talking about.


Below you can find all of Sifted’s coverage on generative AI, from a European Gen AI market map and interviews with some of the sectors leading players to the latest funding round news.

Who are Europe's big AI players?

Generative AI analysis


Generative AI interviews

  • Mubadala, Abu Dhabi's sovereign wealth fund, is one of the biggest growth investors in Europe — and its head of ventures doesn't to miss out on the AI boom. Ibrahim Ajami tells Sifted why AI is a new "supercycle".
  • OpenAI’s actions are “fundamentally wrong”, Emad Mostaque, the CEO of Stability AI — the company behind AI image generator Stable Diffusion — tells Sifted.
  • Can Europe compete with OpenAI? Jonas Andrulis, founder and CEO of Aleph Alpha, which has built its own chatbot called Lumi, thinks so, if it focuses on winning “the battles of the future”.

Who’s raising?

AI companies in Europe are raising money at a prodigious rate. Here are some of the startups to have raised in recent months:

  • London-based Colossyan raised a $5m Series A from CEE-based LAUNCHub Ventures and Emerge Education. It uses generative AI to turn text prompts into learning and development videos.
  • Robin AI is trying to crack open the legaltech sector with its SaaS platform, which uses Anthropic's generative AI to help companies with drafting and editing contracts. The London-based startup raised a $10.5m Series A led by Plural, along with angels including Monzo cofounder Tom Blomfield.
  • Lumai, an Oxford-based startup building optical computing-based technology to power the giant and demanding AI engines that are on the way, picked up a £1.1m research grant from Innovate UK.
  • Stockholm-based Supernormal is using OpenAI’s tech to power its meeting transcription service, part of a large product that automates notes, actions and sharing of meeting documents. It raised $10m in January from Balderton, Acequia Capital, byFounders and previous backer EQT Ventures.
  • Credo Ventures led ElevenLabs’ $2m pre-seed round in January. The startup has built a tool to generate translated dubs of films into different languages, and can turn text into audio format too. Check out the startup’s pitch deck — plus an example of it converting our article into audio.



On Startup Europe — The Sifted Podcast, Amy and Eleanor have been diving into all the hot news in European tech — recently that’s meant filling the airwaves with AI.

Get every episode of Startup Europe wherever you get your podcasts.

Alex Oscroft

Alex Oscroft is Sifted's subeditor. Find him on Twitter and LinkedIn