OpenAI ChatGPT

OpenAI scooped up Rockset, an enterprise search and analytics startup, for an undisclosed sum late Friday in perhaps its most significant acquisition yet — just the latest maneuver in an escalating race among the generative-AI leaders.

Rockset’s expertise in real-time data processing and vector search is expected to turbocharge OpenAI’s ability to rapidly access and analyze troves of information, speeding up and vastly improving accurate responses from AI models.

The ChatGPT maker told Bloomberg it intends to fold Rockset’s technology into OpenAI’s platform, as well as add members of Rockset’s team to OpenAI.

“Rockset’s infrastructure empowers companies to transform their data into actionable intelligence. We’re excited to bring these benefits to our customers by integrating Rockset’s foundation into OpenAI products,” Brad Lightcap, OpenAI’s chief operating officer, said in a blog post late Friday.

Added Rockset CEO Venkat Venkataramani, in the same post: “We’re excited to be joining OpenAI to empower users, enterprises and developers to fully leverage their data by bringing powerful retrieval to AI.”

Generative AI large language models cannot rely solely on throwing more GPU, NPU and inference processors at them to meet the rapidly growing demand for ChatGPT,” Mitch Ashley, chief technology advisor at Futurum Group and Techstrong Research, said in a message. “OpenAI must pursue accelerators like Rockset to add vector databases, streaming, data lakes and other performance data services to be able to deliver what the market requires today and tomorrow.”

Rockset has raised more than $100 million in venture capital from Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co.’s venture arm, Sequoia Capital, and Greylock Partners. Its customers include Meta Platforms Inc. and JetBlue Airways Corp.

The planned acquisition, which incorporates new features into ChatGPT amid an enterprise push by the company, comes a day after OpenAI rival Anthropic unveiled a new model, Claude 3.5 Sonnet, that is more than three times faster than its previous version announced three months earlier.

Last month, Reuters reported that OpenAI was developing a search engine product to compete with Google and Perplexity, an AI search startup.