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Google invests in AI startup to wrest cloud business from AWS

Google has invested in generative AI startup Runway in a deal that values the company at around $1.5 billion.

The investment, which was part of a $100m funding round, also means that Runway will now use Google Cloud as its preferred cloud provider.

The company, which allows customers to generate video from text descriptions, was previously highlighted by Amazon Web Services (AWS) as a customer. In March, Runway announced a multi-year agreement with AWS for it to be its preferred cloud provider.

Earlier this year, Google invested $300 million in generative AI company Anthropic, again in return for it becoming a customer. The cloud provider has begun offering AI startups a combination of cash and Google Cloud credits in exchange for equity, The Information notes.

The company is not alone in this practice. Microsoft has invested billions into OpenAI, becoming its cloud provider (although Microsoft has been forced to find another cloud company to help it manage the workload).

Microsoft has done this for years – back in 2021 the company put $2bn into autonomous vehicle company Cruise and gained it as an Azure customer.

That same year, Google pumped $1bn into financial derivatives exchange CME Group in return for a decade-long cloud agreement. Not to be outdone, the next year Microsoft acquired a stake in the London Stock Exchange, which promptly promised to migrate to Azure. Data Center Dynamics

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