Amazon’s AWS Expands Free Credits Program to Cover AI Model Usage for Startups, Boosting Bedrock’s Market Share

AWS expands its free credits program for startups to cover AI model usage, aiming to bolster Bedrock’s market share. The initiative, which includes partnerships with various providers, reflects Amazon’s ongoing efforts to support startups while attracting regulatory scrutiny.

2 April 2024 – Amazon Web Service (AWS) has announced an expansion of its free credits program for startups, now encompassing the costs associated with utilizing major AI models. This move, disclosed in an interview with Reuters, is part of Amazon’s strategy to bolster the market share of its AI platform, Bedrock.

In a bid to attract more startup customers, Amazon has extended its cloud credits to include the utilization of models from various providers, such as Anthropic, Meta, Mistral AI, and Cohere. Howard Wright, AWS’s Vice President and Global Head of Startups, emphasized the gesture as a means of fostering continued loyalty to AWS within the startup ecosystem.

This initiative follows Amazon’s recent $4 billion investment in Anthropic through convertible notes, solidifying Anthropic’s commitment to AWS as its primary cloud provider. Wright highlighted that Amazon’s free credits will contribute to Anthropic’s revenue, positioning it as one of the top models available on Bedrock.

With a decade-long track record of offering over $6 billion in credits to startups, Amazon has partnered with Y Combinator to provide $500,000 in credits to the latest cohort, launched in January. These credits can be utilized for AI models and Amazon’s proprietary chips, alleviating the potential financial burden associated with AI usage for startups.

While Amazon is not the sole major cloud provider offering free credits to attract AI startups, Microsoft Azure provides credits applicable to OpenAI’s models, and Google offers credits for over 130 models on Vertex AI. However, such investments by big tech companies have attracted regulatory scrutiny, with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) opening an inquiry into Microsoft’s support of OpenAI, as well as Google and Amazon’s investment in Anthropic. – ref: Reuters

Author: Terry KS

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