Seattle Startup Griptape Raises $12.5M to Secure AI Applications

Seattle-based startup Griptape, founded by former Amazon employees Kyle Roche and Vasily Vasinov, has secured $12.5 million in funding. The company aims to help enterprises build and deploy secure artificial intelligence (AI) applications, ensuring that company data remains protected. Griptape is developing an open-source Python framework and cloud platform that enables companies to build large language models, including conversational, copilot, and autonomous agents, with security controls in place. The goal is to allow enterprises to utilize powerful AI models like OpenAI’s GPT and Anthropic’s Claude 2, while maintaining data security.

The startup is currently in private preview and anticipates launching commercially in October. Funding for Griptape was confirmed by CEO Kyle Roche, and the company is supported by venture firms such as Fuse and Acequia Capital, Crosslink Capital, Range Ventures, and Peterson Ventures.

Roche, who spent over eight years at Amazon Web Services (AWS), previously founded IoT startup 2lemetry, which was acquired by Amazon in 2015. Vasily Vasinov, Griptape’s CTO, was a principal product manager at AWS and worked with Roche at 2lemetry. The team is further bolstered by Chief Product Officer Derek Pai and Chief Creative Officer Jason Schleifer, both of whom have experience at AWS.

Griptape aims to provide an enterprise-grade alternative to LangChain, another tool for building large language model applications. However, there are concerns regarding LangChain’s readiness for enterprise use. Griptape’s customers include Torc, ThingLogix, and Zennify.

Addressing a pain point in enterprise AI app development, Griptape focuses on data vulnerability. Ilana Stern, a general partner at Peterson Ventures, compared using large language models for enterprise apps to leaving one’s front door open during a home remodel, allowing unrestricted access to subcontractors. Griptape’s solution seeks to limit data access and control privacy when working with generative AI models.

Large language models are becoming increasingly important for tech giants like Microsoft, Amazon, and Google, as they integrate them into their core strategies. These companies are rolling out tools for online search, software development, and office software. According to an IBM survey, over 60% of enterprise CEOs feel significant pressure to adopt generative AI quickly.

– GeekWire
– LinkedIn