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Is the AI Industry Consolidating? Hugging Face CEO Says More AI Entrepreneurs Are Looking to Be Acquired Clément Delangue, the CEO of Hugging Face, a $4.5 billion startup, says he gets at least 10 acquisition requests a week and it's "increased quite a lot."

By Sherin Shibu Edited by Melissa Malamut

Key Takeaways

  • AI community startup Hugging Face announced a $10 million acquisition on Thursday.
  • CEO Clément Delangue says he hears from at least 10 AI startups a week that want to be acquired.
  • Tech companies have been quietly acquiring AI startups recently.

Multi-billion dollar AI community startup Hugging Face announced its fourth acquisition to date on Thursday, a $10 million buy of a small AI collaboration platform called Argilla.

Hugging Face CEO Clément Delangue now says he's getting acquisition requests from many more startups — at least 10 a week.

"This year, in particular, it has increased quite a lot," he told Bloomberg.

Clément Delangue, CEO of Hugging Face. Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Hugging Face lets developers openly share and test AI models that anyone can use, and has partnered with companies like Google and Microsoft. The company claims to have over a million AI models, datasets, and apps on its platform.

After a $235 million August funding round, with investments from Amazon, Nvidia, Intel, and other big tech names, Hugging Face is now valued at $4.5 billion.

Delangue's remarks that he sees more AI startups looking to be acquired could signal that the AI industry is consolidating, or entering the stage when competitors begin merging, per Bloomberg.

Related: Unicorn Founders Launch AI Business Credit Score Startup

Huge tech companies have been quietly acquiring AI startups recently. According to a February report from portfolio management company Stocklytics, Apple has made the most AI startup acquisitions compared to its peers, buying 32 startups last year and at least one more this year.

Google bought 21 AI startups and Meta acquired 18, per the same report.

AI stood out last year as one of the best-performing industries for unicorn, or billion-dollar valuation business, growth.

A February Morningstar report found that more than four of every 10 startups that became a unicorn in 2023 focused on AI and machine learning.

Related: Want to Start a Billion-Dollar Business? Look to These Two Industries

Sherin Shibu

Entrepreneur Staff

News Reporter

Sherin Shibu is a business news reporter at Entrepreneur.com. She previously worked for PCMag, Business Insider, The Messenger, and ZDNET as a reporter and copyeditor. Her areas of coverage encompass tech, business, strategy, finance, and even space. She is a Columbia University graduate.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

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