Exclusive: Tom Siebel’s C3.ai taps Amazon AWS to scale its business
Enterprise AI startup C3.ai will announce later today a self-service version of its software that can be purchased online via Amazon's AWS Marketplace, CEO Tom Siebel tells Axios.
Why it matters: The move allows C3.ai to offer startups and individuals within companies much of the technology it has been selling directly to large corporations and government agencies.
Details: C3 Generative AI: AWS Marketplace Edition will be available next week as part of a private preview, Siebel said.
- The new product will be available under a 14-day free trial in AWS Marketplace, with plans starting at $6,000 per month for 10,000 queries.
- Siebel stressed that even in its self-service version, C3's product offers features businesses need — from citations of where data came from, to access controls limiting who can see what data, to ensuring the system doesn't "hallucinate" fictional details when it doesn't know an answer.
C3's tool lets workers use a search and chat interface to query business data.
- In a demo, Siebel showed how it could be used to identify problematic suppliers or office locations with the highest employee churn.
What they're saying: Siebel said selling via Amazon will let his firm gain access via direct sales to workers at various levels of the company, much the way Snowflake has done.
- Selling directly has allowed C3 to work closely with some very big institutions, but also means the company has only been able to add a few customers at a time. Last quarter, for example, it added eight enterprise customers for its generative AI product.
- "The idea was to go from eight to 80 to 80,000," Siebel said. "And this gets us to 80,000."
Between the lines: Siebel also stresses that C3's approach isn't tied to a particular vendor's large language model — it works with OpenAI, Anthropic and Meta's open source Llama-3, among others.
- As a hypothetical, he said, "When ChatGPT goes out of business on Sunday and I want to replace it with Anthropic on Monday, okay, I could just do that," Siebel said. "My application keeps on ticking."