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IBM Announces $500 Million Fund to Support Enterprise AI Startups

IBM Announces $500 Million Fund to Support Enterprise AI Startups
November 11, 2023 | Glory Kaburu, Cryptopolitan

Technology giant IBM has reaffirmed its commitment to exploring artificial intelligence (AI) by launching a new $500 million fund to invest in AI companies specializing in enterprise applications. The IBM Enterprise AI Venture Fund will primarily focus on early-stage to hyper-growth startups developing AI solutions tailored for business use.

A focus on generative AI for enhanced workplace productivity

IBM’s new fund emphasizes generative AI products that enhance workplace productivity and efficiency. While details about investment criteria were not disclosed in the initial statement, IBM aims to employ a unique model and strategy to identify investment opportunities in generative AI for enterprise applications. To support these startups, IBM has assembled a dedicated portfolio development team of investment and AI experts who will provide operational expertise and innovative market strategies.

Rob Thomas, IBM’s Chief Commercial Officer, expressed the company’s commitment to responsible AI innovation through this fund, stating, “With the launch of the IBM Enterprise AI Venture Fund, we’re opening another channel to harness the enormous potential of the AI revolution into tangible, positive outcomes for IBM and the companies we invest in.”

IBM’s recent AI investments

IBM’s involvement in AI has increased, with notable investments including a $235 million series D funding round for the open-source AI platform Hugging Face and participation in a Series A funding round for Hidden Layer, a cybersecurity company specializing in AI. These investments have resulted in significant company milestones, such as Hugging Face’s collaboration with NASA.

Clem Delangue, CEO of Hugging Face, highlighted the impact of IBM’s contributions to the open-source AI ecosystem, saying, “With hundreds of open models on the Hugging Face hub, they are significantly boosting the open-source ecosystem. I am convinced they can accelerate their impact on AI with the IBM Enterprise AI Venture Fund.”

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