The launch of the IBM Enterprise AI Venture Fund builds upon the growing momentum and widespread adoption of the company’s AI platform called watsonx.
International Business Machines (IBM), one of the leading technology giants in the United States, has launched a $500 million venture fund to bolster artificial intelligence (AI) innovation.
In an official announcement made on November 7, the technology company said the fund, dubbed “Enterprise AI Venture Fund”, is aimed at supporting and accelerating the growth of various AI companies, including both emerging startups and rapidly expanding enterprises.
IBM New Investment Fund to Be Led by Professionals
The fund will primarily focus on accelerating generative AI technology and research for enterprises.
Equipped with a unique framework and drawing on expertise from across IBM, the IBM Enterprise AI Venture Fund, along with a dedicated portfolio development team, plans to invest in current and future AI firms that are helping businesses around the world realize the potential of AI for their activities.
The fund, which was released without contributions from other institutional investors, will be led by a team of experienced professionals at IBM Corp (NYSE: IBM), who will not only provide financial backing but also offer crucial guidance and operational expertise to selected AI startups.
This strategic move underlines the company’s commitment to fostering innovation and promoting the effective integration of AI solutions across different industries.
AI to Generate $16 Trillion in Productivity by 2030
Rob Thomas, Senior Vice President, Software and Chief Commercial Officer at IBM, believes that AI is slated to unlock nearly $16 trillion in productivity by 2030.
“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,” he said.
He further stated that the Enterprise AI Venture Fund is another way the company is doubling its commitment to responsible AI innovation through Watsonx and helping organizations put this transformational technology to work.
IBM’s Commitment to Fostering AI Innovations
According to the announcement, the launch of the IBM Enterprise AI Venture Fund builds upon the growing momentum and widespread adoption of the company’s AI platform called watsonx.
In September, IBM made headlines with the introduction of the first models in the watsonx Granite model series, a curated collection of generative AI models designed to enhance the integration of generative AI into various business applications and workflows.
The company also disclosed that standard contractual intellectual property protections for IBM products would apply to IBM-developed AI models.
Earlier this year, IBM also announced plans to host Meta’s Llama 2-chat 70 billion parameter model within watsonx, furthering the company’s strategy of leveraging both third-party and its own AI models to maintain open innovation.
The company’s dedication to fostering AI for business is evident through its recent investment activities in the AI sector. The tech giant has also participated in a series of fundraisings to help other businesses leverage the use of AI.
IBM joined the list of other institutional investors in August that raised $235 million in a Series D funding round for Hugging Face, a leading open-source collaboration platform catering to the machine learning community’s future AI endeavors.
The technology company has also contributed many open models and datasets to the Hugging Face platform, including the recent unveiling of the groundbreaking Geospatial Foundation Model, developed in partnership with NASA.
On September 19, IBM also participated in another fundraising for HiddenLayer, a security infrastructure provider company for AI models. The company raised $50 million to bolster its business operations.