Generative AI Coding Startup Tabnine Raises $25M
Generative AI coding assistance startup Tabnine has raised $25 million in a Series B funding round led by Telstra Ventures. Tabnine offers several coding tools fueled by generative AI models, as well as the Tabnine Chat chatbot that engages conversationally to help users write code.
The 2012-founded Tabnine pioneered the use of AI to accelerate software development and now offers tools used by more than a million developers worldwide. Those tools generate over 1% of globally written code, according to Tabnine. On average, Tabnine claims its technology automates 30-50% of repetitive coding work, saving engineering teams millions of hours. Tabnine views current capabilities as just the beginning of AI-driven development. The company believes AI will eventually evolve into a complete platform underpinning the entire software lifecycle. It envisions engineers seamlessly guiding advanced AI agents through high-level conversations versus prompting.
“As software developers, we’re going to interact with AI at an entirely different level in the coming years, and how we manage and guide AI tools will become the primary method to determine how our software behaves. Users will mature from simply “prompting” an AI system to having meaningful bi-directional conversations with AI agents. Our AI tools will mature and evolve to truly understand what we’re trying to accomplish; not only the “how”, but also the “what” and “why.”” Tabnine CEO Dror Weis explained in a blog post. “Generative AI is fundamentally changing the software development lifecycle. These new tools have the potential to bring a wave of automation and simplification that will make the methods we use today look antiquated and unnecessary.”
Tabnine said it will use the new funding to turn this vision into reality, though Weis emphasized that maintaining customer control over AI implementations is central to its philosophy. This includes letting users customize AI behaviors and recommendations for their specific needs. Tabnine also stressed its commitment to privacy, only training models on public open-source code. The company positioned itself as the largest independent vendor focused on AI for software developers.
There’s plenty of demand for generative AI-assisted coding. Tabnine Chat is similar to GitHub Copilot, probably the most popular option, but it has since been followed by many others, including Hugging Face’s Starcoder, IBM’s watsonx Code Assistant, Meta’s Code Llama, and Amazon’s CodeWhisperer, which later became part of the AWS Bedrock platform for generative AI projects. Google has a generative AI coding assistant named Codey, which has widened its availability to a web-based software coding environment called Project IDX.