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Scottish AI startup raises £6m for bespoke LLMs

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Edinburgh-based AI startup Malted has raised £6m to turn large language models (LLMs) into focused smaller models for enterprises.

The startup was founded in 2023 looking to solve the problem that LLMs like ChatGPT are too broad and general with answers.

Malted works with clients looking to benefit from generative AI by distilling the output of LLMs into smaller models for bespoke purposes.

As well as providing users with a more focused service than LLMs, Malted claims its distilled models are far more cost-effective.

The firm is piloting its small language models with financial and legal firms. Malted said it will use the new funding to further develop its product and double the size of its team.

“At Malted AI we see smaller as better when it comes to AI. A single, many-billion parameter foundation model is costly, too general and too slow – it’s not fit for purpose for the complex challenges enterprises face,” said Iain Mackie, Malted AI’s CEO and co-founder.

“We are building a world-leading distillation platform that solves the highest value enterprise problems.”

The seed investment was led by Hoxton Ventures and featured participation from the Creator Fund and angel investors.

“Malted AI has the capacity to be one of Europe’s most notable AI companies as they flip the thinking and approach to AI adoption within the enterprise,” said Bryan Gartner, a partner at Hoxton Ventures.

“We are thrilled to be supporting Malted AI as they commercialise their platform and deliver outsized results for businesses in the tiny package of small language models.”

Malted raised £1m last year in a pre-seed round led by the Creator Fund.

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