• The videoconferencing platform named after Multi is built on Zoom Video Communications Inc.’s infrastructure.
  • Multi’s platform facilitates pair programming, where one developer writes code while another reviews for bugs and suggests improvements.

OpenAI has purchased Multi Software Co., a startup that specializes in a videoconferencing platform designed for software development teams.

Alexander Embiricos, Co-founder and CEO of Multi, revealed the acquisition in a blog post that was released recently. Embiricos, formerly a Product Manager at Dropbox Inc., established the company in 2019 alongside Charley Ho, a Former Engineer at Google LLC. According to sources, the acquisition is described as an “acqui-hire,” with most of Multi’s five-person team expected to join OpenAI.

Multi’s videoconferencing platform, named after the company itself, utilizes infrastructure provided by Zoom Video Communications Inc. The platform features a screen share tool that enables developers to share their screens in real-time while writing codes. Users can also access and view new applications and files on each other’s computers and utilize an embedded sketching feature to highlight items of interest on shared screens.

The platform is equipped with artificial intelligence tools that can automatically summarize meetings, generate lists of action items, and provide links to the code files accessed by participants.

According to Multi, software teams utilize its platform for pair programming, a collaborative development method where one developer writes code while another reviews it for bugs and suggests improvements. Multi reports that its user base includes application teams at VMware LLC, the Mozilla Foundation, and other prominent players in the tech industry.

The company intends to close its platform on July 24 and will delete all user data. In a recent blog post, Embiricos explained that customers can ask for a one-month extension if they require additional time to transition to another service. Multi plans to assist users in identifying alternative applications that can fulfill their needs.

Embiricos wrote, “What if desktop computers were inherently multiplayer? What if the operating system placed people on equal footing to apps? Those were the questions we explored in building Multi.”

The acquisition followed after OpenAI announced another startup purchase. Recently, the developer of ChatGPT acquired Rockset, a database provider supported by over USD 100 million from investors like Sequoia and Greylock.

Rockset is designed to support applications that need to perform fast analytics tasks. For instance, a product recommendation engine could utilize the database to swiftly translate newly acquired data on a customer’s purchasing preferences into personalized shopping suggestions.

Another key feature of Rockset is its streamlined approach to index creation. Indexes are sets of shortcuts that enable applications to locate specific records in a database much faster than usual. This capability is crucial for language models, which frequently need to retrieve extensive data to generate timely responses.

Last week, OpenAI announced intentions to incorporate Rockset’s technology into the “retrieval infrastructure” supporting its products. Meanwhile, Rockset’s website indicates that its database can be utilized for retrieval-augmented generation (RAG), a machine learning technique enabling large language models, like OpenAI’s flagship GPT-4, to integrate information from external sources such as a company’s internal applications to enhance prompt responses.