July 19, 2024
Langdock raises $3M with General Catalyst to help companies avoid vendor lock-in with LLMs

Plenty of large corporations want to join the AI revolution, but many feel it’s too early to be locked into one foundational model. That means there’s a market for a layer between companies and large language models (LLMs) — something companies can use to pick LLMs easily without needing to commit for all time to one platform.

That’s the market Langdock is targeting with its chat interface that sits between LLMs and a company. Based out of Germany, the startup has recently raised a $3 million seed round led by General Catalyst and its European seed-stage partner, La Famiglia.

“Companies don’t want to have a vendor lock-in on just one of those LLM providers,” Lennard Schmidt, co-founder and CEO of Langdock, told TechCrunch. “So we’ve kind of abstracted that away in an interface that allows a company to choose which of the underlying models from different vendors can be used by employees.”

Langdock’s chat interface lets companies tap foundational models, open source models or host their own models and make that accessible, Schmidt said.

The funding round also saw participation from Y Combinator and some noted German founders, including Rolf Schrömgens (Trivago), Hanno Renner (Personio), Johannes Reck (GetYourGuide), and Erik Muttersbach (Forto), along with around 25 other angel investors.

In particular, there is a European play here: Langdock is “going heavy” into the idea that companies in the EU will want to safely and securely integrate LLMs in a manner that’s compliant with regulation.

That means employees can operate in a slightly more closed environment, enabling them to create, for instance, prompt libraries, use more than one LLM and add sensitive documents.

In addition to the chat interface, the company also offers security, cloud and on-premises solutions.

Langdock claims to have a number of customers, including Merck, GetYourGuide, HeyJobs and Forto. Merck has rolled out the startup’s interface to its 63,000 employees. Walid Mehanna, chief data and AI officer at Merck, said in a statement: “We are early adopters of GenAI and see a paradigm shift in how technology can enable our employees to become more effective and efficient in their daily work life.”

Langdock is not the only company to tackle this space.

Dust, based out of Paris, has raised €5 million to date and is backed by Sequoia. The company is building an interface that companies can use to leverage LLMs for various use cases like customer service, internal reports, research and more. In contrast, Langdock’s chat interface works for a broader range of use cases and can be used by any kind of staff.

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