Amazon offers free credits to startups to use AI models

  • Amazon has expanded its free points program for startups to cover the cost of using its main artificial intelligence model.
  • Prior to the launch of this support program, Amazon has completed a $4 billion convertible note investment in Anthropic.
  • At present, big tech companies’ investments in AI startups have drawn scrutiny from regulators.

Free credits program

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has expanded its free points program for startups to cover the cost of using a major AI model as it looks to increase market share for its Bedrock AI platform, the company told Reuters in an interview.

To attract entrepreneurial customers, Amazon now allows its cloud credits to cover models using other providers, including Anthropic, Meta, Mistral AI and Cohere.

Also read: Amazon adds $2.75 billion investment to AI company Anthropic

Give back to the startup ecosystem

Howard Wright, vice president and Global Head of Startups at AWS, said: “This is another gift we give back to the startup ecosystem, and we hope startups continue to choose AWS as their first stop.”

Prior to this, Amazon had completed a $4 billion convertible note investment in Anthropic. As part of the deal, Anthropic will use AWS as its primary cloud provider and use Trainium and Inferentia chips to build and train its models.

Wright said Amazon’s free credits will help revenue from the Anthropic, one of the most popular models on Bedrock. “It’s part of ecosystem building. We make no apologies for that,” he said, adding that AWS offers a wide range of options and security for startups. Amazon says it has extended more than $6 billion in credit to startups over the past decade.

In a partnership with Y Combinator, it’s offering $500,000 credits for its latest cohort, launched in January, that can be used for AI models and Amazon’s chips. Depending on usage, the costs of using AI can be cumulative for startups.

Not just Amazon

Among major cloud providers, Amazon isn’t the only one offering free credits to attract AI startups. Microsoft Azure issues credits that can be used for OpenAI models, while Google’s cloud credits can be applied to more than 130 models on Vertex AI.

With the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) investigating Microsoft’s support for OpenAI and Google and Amazon’s investments in Anthropic, big tech’s investments in AI startups have drawn scrutiny from regulators.

Tuna-Tu

Tuna Tu

Tuna Tu, an intern reporter at BTW media dedicated in artificial intelligence and media. She graduated from The Communication University of Zhejiang and now works in Hangzhou. Send tips to t.tu@btw.media.

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