Aleph Alpha – Ushering in Next Generation AI: Large Language Model Made in Europe

Deep Tech Due Diligence for Foundation Model AI Company

Aleph Alpha is an AI research, development, and deployment startup. They raised €23 million in a Series A funding round, led by Earlybird Venture Capital, Lakestar, and UVC Partners, as well as existing investors LEA Partners, 468 Capital and Cavalry Ventures.

Ahead of this round, Philipps & Byrne did a tech due diligence on Aleph Alpha’s technology and product approach. The assessment aimed at getting an overview of the company itself and of the team, its processes, architecture, and best practices across product and engineering in order to identify potential risks and opportunities.

Aleph Alpha’s generalizable AI models aim at augmenting and improving human capabilities in dealing with any sort of data. The technology is set to understand and create complex texts based on minimal human input, supporting human-machine interaction with deep contextual understanding, previously only attributed to human experts. Their Large Language Model (LLM) Luminous rivals the likes of davinci by OpenAI, OPT by Meta AI, and BLOOM by BigScience. Building on our track record in Deep Tech analysis, a Tech DD for an AI company fell right in our area of expertise.

  • Location: Heidelberg
  • Engagement: Tech Due Diligence
  • Business Context: Foundation Model in AI
  • Tech Landscape: Large Language Model
  • Round: 23 Million EUR Series A


Aleph Alpha: On a Mission to Support AI Independence and Digital Sovereignty in Europe

With a lot of leading technology companies located in North America and other parts of the world, there is a need for a sovereign, EU-based computing infrastructure supporting the digital transformation of Europe’s private and public sectors. Digital sovereignty can help to ensure that tectonic shifts in the global AI landscape are aligned with European values and ethical standards. This is increasingly important in a time in which longtime assumed geopolitical and economic certainties are becoming obsolete. Aleph Alpha wants to build a transparent innovation ecosystem based on reproducible research and open exchange with a strong commitment to open-source communities and academic partnerships. The approach is to develop generalizable AI Foundation Models that augment and improve human capabilities in dealing with data. Their Large Language Models (LLM) are supposed to understand and create complex texts based on minimal human input, acting as a virtual assistant in human-machine interaction. Use cases include structuring knowledge, responding to complex tasks, and transforming, summarizing, and structuring highly specialized, bureaucratic or legal language into easily understood everyday speech.


Our experience with the team from Philipps & Byrne was really good. The Technology Due Diligence helped to build trust with our investors in a technology that is so highly specialized, that only very few fully understand it. And the report provided us with a set of actionable recommendations around Product Management, Security and Compliance, Infrastructure, and Research.

Jonas Andrulis
CEO and Founder at Aleph Alpha



Deep Tech Due Diligence: Assessing Aleph Alpha’s LLM Approach

Investments in Deep Tech can offer tremendous opportunity and the chance to be part of something that might shape the tech future or even usher in a new era in a certain field or industry. At the same time, these kinds of engagements usually come with greater risk than more established technologies, as use cases might not be as clear and hands-on at an early stage.

To estimate if their investment is solid and offers more opportunity than risk, venture capital firm Earlybird requested Philipps & Byrne to conduct a product and technology due diligence on Aleph Alpha. The scope included the company’s tech team, research, product and technical roadmap, processes and applications as well as their architecture, backend code, infrastructure and related systems.

Aleph Alpha’s works towards enabling the accessibility, usability and integration of large, European multilingual and multimodal AI models following the likes of GPT-3 and DALL-E. Therefore, we examined the organization’s machine learning engineering and research competence and to what extent the AI and training models could be considered state of the art or if they were even presenting some early work pushing the state of the art. Assessing Aleph Alpha, which is one of the very few true Foundation Model AI Companies in the world right now, once more strengthened our standing as a trusted partner to investors in Next Frontier Deep Tech business cases.


Philipps & Byrne was a great partner for the Tech Due Diligence at Aleph Alpha. With their expertise in Artificial Intelligence, they were able to really grasp and dissect Aleph Alpha’s strategy and technology approach, and help us build the confidence we needed from a technical standpoint to pursue the investment.

Andre Retterath
Partner at Earlybird


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About Aleph Alpha
Aleph Alpha is the only European company researching, developing and operationalizing a new AI base technology for the public and private sector. Following the principles of sovereignty, excellence and fairness, Aleph Alpha conducts cutting-edge AI research, performs robust and scalable engineering and enables partners to leverage their technology into a wide range of creative use cases. Aleph Alpha’s AI base technology analyzes images, writes texts, answers open-ended questions, creates summaries, translates complex texts into simple ones and much more. It does so in multiple European languages, while simultaneously being linguistically sensitive to European cultures.

About Earlybird

Founded in 1997, Earlybird invests in all development and growth phases of technology companies. Among the most experienced venture investors in Europe, Earlybird offers its portfolio companies not only financial resources but also strategic support plus access to an international network and capital markets. With EUR 2 billion under management, eight IPOs and 30 trade sales, Earlybird is one of the most established and active venture capital firms in Europe. Beyond delivering financial returns, they see their own entrepreneurial responsibility for the environment as well as society, and they strive to make a positive contribution towards solving the global climate crisis. Earlybird is committed to running their own operations in a more eco-sustainable way and offsetting the residual carbon-footprint, while expecting the same from our portfolio companies.