Replit, a web-based IDE competitor to GitHub Copilot, raised $100M.


Investors continue to pour money into generative AI tech. Case in point, Replit, an IDE startup that makes a code-generating AI development tool called Ghostwriter, raised $100 million ($97.4 million) this week in a post-money valuation of $1.16 billion.

Andreessen Horowitz led the round – a Series B extension – with participation from Khosla Ventures, Coatue, SV Angel, Y Combinator, Bloomberg Beta, Naval Ravikant, ARK Ventures and Hamilton Helmer.

“We are passionate about our mission to empower one billion software developers,” Amjad Massad, Replite’s founder and CEO, said in a statement. The new funds — which bring Replite’s total revenue to more than $200 million — will help grow the core, he said. Product experience, expanding Replit’s cloud services and “driving innovation” in AI.

“AI has made that future even closer,” Masad continued. “We look forward to expanding our offerings to professional developers.”

San Francisco-based Replite was co-founded in 2016 by programmers Amjad Massad, Faris Massad, and designer Haya Odeh. Before founding Replite, Amjad Massad worked in engineering roles at Yahoo and Facebook, where he developed software development tools.

Repeat

Replit provides a web-based IDE for software development. Image Credits: Repeat

Replit offers an online collaboration IDE that supports a variety of programming languages, including JavaScript, Python, Go, and C++. With Replit, users can share a workspace with one or more users and view real-time edits to files, message each other, and edit code together. Furthermore, users can share projects, ask for help, learn from tutorials, and use templates.

But perhaps the headline feature is Ghostwriter, a suite of features powered by an AI model trained in publicly available code. Ghostwriter – like GitHub’s Copilot – can make suggestions and annotate code based on what users are typing and their credentials, such as the programming languages ​​they’re using.

Ghostwriter appears to be the driver behind Replit’s recent explosive growth, which saw its partnership with Google Cloud and its user base eclipse 22 million developers. But like all generative AI tools, it comes with risks — and legal ramifications that haven’t yet fully played out in the courts.

Microsoft, GitHub, and OpenAI have been sued in a class action lawsuit alleging they violated copyright law by allowing Copilot to modify parts of the license code without giving credit. Aside from liability, some legal experts have suggested that AI could put companies like Copilot at risk if they unknowingly incorporate copyrighted suggestions into their production software.

It is unclear whether Ghostwriter is also licensed or copyrighted code. But Replit notes that the code that Ghostwriter refers to may contain strings that are “incorrect, offensive, or otherwise inappropriate.”

Contains unsafe code. A recent Stanford study found that software engineers who use AI systems to generate code are more likely to develop security vulnerabilities in the applications they develop. While the study doesn’t look specifically at Replit, there’s a reason developers who use it fall victim to it.

Replit has its work cut out for it, simply put.



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