IBM Launches $500 Million Enterprise AI Venture Fund for Startups
Led by a dedicated team at IBM, the fund will provide each startup with opportunities to develop meaningful partnerships with IBM.
IBM (NYSE: IBM) announced Tuesday (November 7) that it is launching a $500 million venture fund to invest in a range of AI companies – from early-stage to hyper-growth startups – focused on accelerating generative AI technology and research for the enterprise.
With a differentiated model and strategy consisting of domain expertise from across IBM and a dedicated portfolio development team, the IBM Enterprise AI Venture Fund will invest in current and future AI leaders that are helping businesses around the world realize the potential of AI for business.
Led by a dedicated team at IBM, the fund will provide each startup with opportunities to develop meaningful partnerships with IBM, while gaining operational expertise on product and engineering and go-to-market strategies.
IBM says it is capitalizing on the latest wave of AI innovation in generative AI with watsonx, the company’s AI and data platform. With the IBM Enterprise AI Venture Fund, the company will grow its ecosystem of AI partnerships – including working with companies leveraging and building on watsonx – and create long-term value for AI leaders as well as new and existing clients.
“AI is slated to unlock nearly $16 trillion in productivity by 2030. 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,” said Rob Thomas, Senior Vice President, Software and Chief Commercial Officer, IBM.
“This fund is yet another way we’re doubling down on our commitment to responsible AI innovation through watsonx and helping organizations put this transformational technology to work.”
IBM has demonstrated its commitment to promoting AI for business through its recent investments in AI technology and companies. For example, IBM announced in August that it is participating in the $235M Series D funding round of Hugging Face, the leading open-source collaboration platform for the machine learning community building the future of AI.
IBM says it has contributed hundreds of open models and datasets on Hugging Face, including the recent release of the Geospatial Foundation Model in partnership with NASA. It is claimed to be the largest geospatial foundation model on Hugging Face and the first-ever open-source AI foundation model built in collaboration with NASA.
IBM also recently participated in HiddenLayer’s Series A funding to expand its talent base, increase go-to-market efforts, and further invest in its Machine Learning Security (MLSec) Platform.
HiddenLayer is the leading security provider for AI models and assets, and this funding round marks the largest Series A funding raised by a cybersecurity company focused on protecting AI this year.
IBM says it is the sole investor of the Enterprise AI Venture Fund.