Amazon doubles the value of credits for startups to utilize AWS cloud services

Amazon doubles the value of credits for startups to utilize AWS cloud services

Amazon is ramping up its efforts to support startups in the use of its cloud infrastructure, as competition in the artificial intelligence services market intensifies. The company announced that it will be doubling the value of credits offered to some startups through its AWS Activate program, with those who have raised a Series A round of funding in the past year now eligible for $200,000 in credits, up from $100,000.

The decision to increase the credits comes as AWS faces growing competition from Microsoft in the AI services sector. AWS CEO Matt Garman, who recently took over the reins of the company, emphasized the importance of working with startups during meetings with Silicon Valley founders. He described AI companies as AWS’ ideal customers and highlighted the company’s commitment to collaborating with them.

In addition to the credit increase, AWS also extended the expiration period of the credits from one year to three years, giving startups more time to utilize the resources. AWS emphasized its leadership in the cloud market, highlighting that over 280,000 startups run on AWS, including 96% of “unicorns” in AI and machine learning.

While AWS has been the dominant player in the cloud infrastructure market, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud are gaining ground, especially in the AI space. Backed by Microsoft, OpenAI launched ChatGPT on Azure, attracting a significant number of AI workloads. Google has also made strides with its own large language models, such as Gemini.

To keep pace with its competitors, Amazon has been investing heavily in generative AI, pouring billions of dollars into startups like Anthropic. The company’s recent hire of David Luan, co-founder of AI startup Adept, and the licensing of Adept’s technology and models underscore Amazon’s commitment to strengthening its AI capabilities.

While AWS remains a leader in cloud infrastructure, Microsoft is quickly closing the gap, with Azure gaining market share. AWS’ market share slipped slightly in the first quarter of this year, while Azure saw significant growth. Google Cloud is also making gains, indicating a competitive landscape in the cloud services market.

Overall, Amazon’s decision to double the value of credits for startups is part of its strategy to support and engage with the next generation of tech innovators. As competition in the cloud and AI space heats up, these initiatives are crucial for Amazon to maintain its position in the market and continue driving innovation in the industry.