SMEs and Ventures

The $500 million IBM Enterprise AI Venture Fund launched to support startups in AI businesses

IBM has revealed that it is establishing a $500 million venture fund to finance a variety of AI businesses, from hyper-growth startups to early-stage firms, with the goal of advancing generative AI research and technology for the business.

The IBM Enterprise AI Venture Fund will invest in present and future AI leaders who are assisting organizations worldwide in realizing the potential of AI for business. The fund will use a unique model and strategy that combines subject expertise from across IBM with a dedicated portfolio development team.

The fund, which is run by a committed group at IBM with decades of combined experience as enterprise AI specialists and extremely successful investors, will give each company the chance to form significant collaborations with IBM while learning practical knowledge of product and engineering.

Watsonx, IBM’s AI and data platform, is using the most recent wave of AI research in generative AI. IBM has a long history of providing enterprises all around the world with enterprise AI technology and capabilities. With the IBM Enterprise AI Venture Fund, the business will expand its network of AI alliances, collaborating with businesses that are utilizing and developing Watsonx, and provide long-term value for both new and current customers as well as AI leaders.

AI is expected to increase productivity by around $16 trillion by 2030. Rob Thomas, Senior Vice President, Software and Chief Commercial Officer, IBM, said, “With the establishment of the IBM Enterprise AI Venture Fund, we’re creating a new avenue to channel the immense potential of the AI revolution into concrete, beneficial outcomes for IBM and the companies we invest in.” “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.”

An Adaptive Strategy for AI Investing

With its recent investments in AI businesses and technologies, IBM has shown that it is committed to advancing AI for business. IBM, for instance, declared in August that it will be taking part in Hugging Face’s $235 million Series D fundraising round. Hugging Face is the premier open-source platform for cooperation among machine learning enthusiasts who are shaping the AI of the future. On Hugging Face, IBM has made hundreds of open models and datasets available, such as the Geospatial Foundation Model, which was just released in collaboration with NASA. It is the first-ever open-source AI foundation model created in partnership with NASA, and it is the biggest geographic foundation model available on Hugging Face.

Clem Delangue, co-founder and CEO of Hugging Face, stated: “We’ve been delighted to work with IBM in democratizing AI. Hugging Face is a hub for hundreds of open models, which is a major contribution to the open-source ecosystem. We wanted them to be a part of our series D round for this reason. With the IBM Enterprise AI Venture Fund, I’m confident they can accelerate their effect on AI.”

IBM recently took part in the Series A funding round led by HiddenLayer in order to broaden its talent pool, intensify its marketing endeavors, and raise investment in its Machine Learning Security (MLSec) Platform, which has won numerous awards. This fundraising round represents the highest Series A capital raised by a cybersecurity firm focused on artificial intelligence (AI) assets and models, HiddenLayer, the leading security provider.

“IBM’s commitment to advancing secure and responsible AI, access to global clients, and the scale of one of the most innovative companies in the world has made them the perfect partner to support us in driving the next stage of our business growth,” stated Chris Sestito, CEO and co-founder of HiddenLayer. Through this agreement, we will be able to provide the world’s most innovative organizations with our AI threat detection capabilities.”

The company’s approach of utilizing both its own and third-party AI models to advance open innovation in AI is furthered by the news of today, which builds on the momentum and market acceptance of IBM’s Watsonx. The first models in the Watsonx Granite model series, a collection of generative AI models to enhance the integration of generative AI into business applications and workflows, were made generally available by IBM in September.

Additionally, IBM reaffirmed that Watsonx AI models developed by IBM will be covered by the regular contractual intellectual property protections for IBM products. IBM furthered its aim of using both its own and third-party AI models to sustain open innovation earlier this year when it announced intentions to host Meta’s Llama 2-chat 70 billion parameter model within Watsonx.

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