Dell Technology plans to sell $150 million of computing hardware to artificial intelligence startup Imbue.

Imbue plans to develop its own foundation models, which require enormous amounts of compute, focused on personal assistants with 'reasoning.'

– Sebastian Moss

The company raised $200 million in a September round at a $1bn valuation, with Nvidia among the investors.

“The main reason we went with Dell is that we don't want to be locked into a computing provider,” Josh Albrecht, co-founder and CTO of Imbue, told Bloomberg.

Choosing a hyperscale cloud provider "would make it much harder for the software side to move off of that in the future. This allows us to be able to remain independent," he said.

Several other foundation model developers have not only used cloud providers, but partnered with them. OpenAI counts Microsoft as an investor and uses Azure cloud, while Anthropic has taken money from both AWS and Google and uses both platforms.

Stability AI has a partnership with AWS to use its new chips, but it also has turned to Intel to use a new supercomputer featuring Xeon processors and 4,000 Gaudi2 AI hardware accelerators.

Imbue's system will be managed by Voltage Park, an AI cloud computing organization whose profits are funneled into the non-profit Navigation Fund. Last month, the company announced that it had acquired 24,000 Nvidia H100 chips for $500m.