AI startup Anthropic hires Airbnb veteran Krishna Rao as first CFO

FILE PHOTO: Illustration shows Anthropic logo

(Reuters) -Artificial intelligence startup Anthropic has hired Airbnb veteran Krishna Rao as its first finance chief, the company said on Tuesday, as it plans to expand its AI offerings and better compete with rivals.

Rao will help shape Anthropic's financial strategy and operations, the company said.

Anthropic has raised billions from cloud service providers Google and and other venture capital firms as it looks to keep up with Microsoft-backed rival and ChatGPT maker OpenAI.

Rao was previously CFO at digital sports platform Fanatics Commerce and global head of corporate and business development at Airbnb between 2018 and 2021.

The Information had first reported the development earlier in the day citing people familiar with the matter.

Anthropic is among a series of companies that are building generative AI systems that can create human-like responses and content. Its Claude AI models have vied for prominence with OpenAI's GPT series.

Last week, it appointed Instagram co-founder Mike Krieger as its chief product officer.

The Information had reported late last year that Anthropic projected it would generate more than $850 million in annualized revenue by the end of 2024.

(Reporting by Akash Sriram and Harshita Mary Varghese in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber and Shilpi Majumdar)