A look at the venture capitalists who are currently investing in AI (artificial intelligence) firms.
Although the idea of robots used to be somewhat unsettling, a lot of money is currently being invested in the architecture and systems that enable machines to learn and grow on their own without the assistance of humans.
According to PwC’s 2018 Moneytree Report, which was just released, $9.3 billion was invested in AI firms in 2017. This enormous number demonstrates the growing interest in technology and the growing understanding of its potential among public and commercial sector donors.
Artificial intelligence crosses all business areas, from self-driving vehicle AI operating systems to self-learning language processing platforms. Venture capital companies are hopping on the bandwagon to finance the minds behind the initiatives since they have the potential to disrupt so many industries, putting them ahead of the curve.
The most well-known venture capital firms investing in AI technology are listed below, with an overview of their goals.
Japan-based Softbank Group is a global holding company. Masayoshi Son, the wealthiest man in the nation, who claims to be spending 97% of his “time and intellect” on AI research, is in charge of it. The business has the biggest global fund, with $93 billion allocated, named the Softbank Vision Fund, specifically for technical advancement. Of this, $28 billion is assigned to the new investment fund, which strongly emphasizes AI. They have previously invested in SenseTime, a business specializing in scaling machine learning, face recognition, augmented reality, and Petuum Inc.
2000 found General Catalyst, an American venture capital firm, offers growth and early-stage equity investments to help businesses change. The firm is focused on giving companies momentum and increasing their development. They invest in successful businesspeople who have already established themselves in technology. Among their businesses are Grammarly, an AI-powered writing help; Eightfold.ai, an AI-powered personnel management platform; and 6D.ai, a program for creating APIs that stimulate real-world activity.
IVP, a private equity firm headquartered in the US, often contributes money throughout a company’s final phases of growth. IVP has grown to be a significant investor in AI startups after investing in well-known businesses, including Slack, Github, Pindrop, Soundcloud, and Indiegogo. Their total committed capital is now $7 billion after they announced the addition of an additional $1.5 billion to their investment fund in 2017. Most notably, IVP has financed Sumo Logic, a machine data analytics firm, and Ziprecruiter, one of the top 5 funded AI ventures of 2018.
The leading firm, Two Sigma Investments, has a subsidiary called Two Sigma Ventures. They provide early-stage money that focuses on expanding knowledge and enhancing computing power to help the world. They use a three-pronged approach to investing in innovative firms that increase access to information, extend the capabilities of computers and science, and have inspiring and forward-thinking executives. Their investments have included Zymergen, an AI program to enhance biological manipulation. Socore, a predictive analytics program, and Amper Music, an AI program to create music for films based on the emotional mapping.
US-based Lightspeed Ventures offers investment for early-stage research and development in the tech and consumer industries. They have a sizable portfolio of tech firms and many well-known startups that were ultimately purchased by Blackberry, Oracle, Texas Instruments, Walmart, and other industry titans. They recently invested in FortressIQ, which is developing an enterprise bot governance layer, and AnyVision, the top face, body, and object recognition AI software. Additionally, they contributed $7 million to People.ai, a very effective AI platform for maximizing corporate profits.
Intel Capital, a division of Intel Corporation, manages mergers and acquisitions and invests in various technological startups. Since its establishment in 1991, Intel Capital has invested in more than 1280 businesses in 54 nations, totaling more than $10.83 billion in capital investments as of 2011. They spent over $72 million on AI and IoT alone in 2017, and over $115 million was invested in technology overall in 2018. These investments include Syntiant, a manufacturer of neural decision-making circuits that expedite computer operations and use less battery power, and Gamalon, a platform for teaching computers via machine learning.
One of AI’s most well-known venture capital companies may be Andreessen Horowitz, whose slogan is “Software is devouring the world.”
The business was founded in 2009 in Silicon Valley, California, and invests at every step of a company’s growth. They have raised $7.1 billion over 7 funds, all of which have been set aside to support the development of innovative entrepreneurs. They also provide professional guidance from their large staff of engineers, executives, business leaders, and academics. Andreessen Horowitz spearheaded the effort to fund $30 million for People.ai. Additionally, they have a dedicated bio fund for advancing AI in the medical sector to aid in diagnosing and treating disorders. Shield AI, an AI program for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance, and Freenome, an AI program for immune system comprehension, are two more significant investments.
Since 2012, Data Collective has invested in 20 AI firms, holding the record for the most investments in this sector. Data Collective prefers to concentrate on Big Data firms even if they finance entrepreneurs using this technology on a global corporate scale. Examples of initiatives include Vicarious, a program that models the human brain and uses data to generate artificial intelligence. Plenty, an agritech business that uses AI to cultivate GMO- and pesticide-free crops, Recursion Pharmaceuticals, which uses cell activity data to cure illness. And Plenty.
A business incubator is another name for Y Combinator. They have a fantastic strategy for making modest investments in many innovative businesses, focusing on artificial intelligence and machine learning. Twice a year, they invest $150k in companies. They are then required to relocate to Silicon Valley for three months to work closely with Y Combinator’s specialists, who mentor the team and assist in successfully structuring the startups. In fact, Y Combinator now has a fund specifically for artificial intelligence (AI), whose alumni include self-driving shuttle company May Mobility, voice-synthesizing AI Lyre Bird, and corporate customer service engagement tool Msg.ai.
This Toyota subsidiary’s venture capital funds AI initiatives in robotics and autonomous transportation. The fund, which has $100 million, emphasizes its ability to provide professional counsel and direction from its group of knowledgeable scientists and businesspeople. Some of their most significant initiatives are Apex AI, software for autonomous mobility vehicles. Perceptive Automata, software to assist autonomous automobiles in perceiving human emotion, and Elementary Robotics, robots for home care.
M12, formerly Microsoft Ventures, is a sizable fund focusing only on investing in artificial intelligence. The company, established in 2016, invests in projects in Israel and North America. Firms on M12’s rota have unparalleled access to Microsoft’s ecosystem, which gives them access to many professionals, researchers, and resources to aid in developing their AI initiatives. M12, which specializes in early-stage finance, seeks B2B companies to collaborate with and fund. The projects that have the good fortune to be working with M12 include those from TwentyBN, a company that helps robots pick up human mannerisms so they can interact safely with people. Contract Security, a program that guards against malware, and Mental Canvas, a program that bridges the gap between 2D and 3D images.
The California-based, technology-focused venture capital firm Sequoia Capital was established in 1972. By participating in 52 VC rounds at public and private companies in 2020, the business received the most investments in the AI tech sector. They encourage business owners to create the top corporations of the future by concentrating on private company incubation and seed and startup stage investments. During the epidemic, the business launched a $7 billion fundraising effort last year to support its venture capital activities for US and Southeast Asian technology startups. Their portfolio includes Nugit, which blends AI and NLG to turn marketing data into reports suitable for decision-making, and BasisAI. This AI startup develops scalable ML solutions for Asian businesses.
GV Management, formerly Google Ventures, is the venture capital division of Alphabet Inc. (but the company works independently of Google now). The organization has provided over 500 firms and startups with funding and a staff of engineers and data scientists collaborating to further their companies’ commercial success. In the seed, venture, and growth phases, companies may get money from them. These technological firms are dispersed throughout industries emphasizing business, the health sciences, consumers, and emerging technologies. The companies Uber, Medium, Lemonade, Slack, and Gitlab are examples of their accomplishments. They enable AI businesses like Mighty AI, which creates data sets for training AI, and Determined AI, which shortens time-to-market by optimizing GPU use.
Deep tech at the Seed, Series A, and Series B phases of development is where they concentrate their investing efforts. In general, investments have focused on processors, communications, algorithmic advancements, and imaging software. The largest search engine in China, Baidu Inc., has a division called Baidu Ventures that support AI, VR, and AR initiatives. Baidu Ventures’ Scale is a huge benefit for financed firms since it gives them access to outstanding data annotation, system design, and engineering capabilities. With its own language processing, smart home, machine learning, and telecom AI systems built, Baidu is a worldwide leader in the AI arms race and established its own AI research facility in Silicon Valley in 2013. They recently invested in two businesses: Veo Robotics, which provides tools for industrial robot cooperation, and Aqrose Technology, which uses machine learning and vision to improve industrial operations.
Comet Labs is an incubator and a fund that invests in robotics and AI firms. Comet Labs, a startup established in 2015, aims to increase productivity worldwide by developing robots and AI. Along with finance, they collaborate with professionals in the field to provide entrepreneurs a setting where they may develop, learn, and enhance their commercial abilities to support their technology notion. They have so far invested in businesses that are creating AI for industries, including transportation, building, agriculture, healthcare, food systems, and others. They are working on several interesting initiatives, including Creator, which utilizes robots to produce gourmet burgers, and Iron Ox, which uses robotic greenhouses to grow food. And Prenav, which are autonomous commercial drones with hostile environment flight capabilities.
East Ventures is a Japanese venture capital company that provides seed money to startups in Japan and Southeast Asia. They have a proven track record of having their startups purchased by prominent businesses in SEA, such as Grab’s acquisition of Kudo and Groupon’s purchase of Disdus. TARA, AI for product scoping and talent assignment. Kite, a tool that adds all the programming information on the internet to your programming environment, and vision software for object and face recognition are examples of recent AI developments.
One of the first VC companies in the US is CRV. They have invested in technology for more than 40 years, spanning everything from applications to mobile phone towers. Entrepreneurs and business owners who all saw themselves as having an equal collaboration and voice inside the organization make up the team. They work hard and move quickly, yet they always make decisions as a group. Currently, they are working on 3T Biosciences, an AI initiative to treat cancer, Airobotics, a business that gathers and analyzes aeronautical data, and Jibo, a home robot for families.
Since its founding in 2000, Qualcomm Ventures has invested in startups that provide technical innovations that would aid Qualcomm Inc.’s expansion as a designer and producer of digital wireless telecommunications systems and equipment. Since its founding, they have made 331 investments and offer capital at the Seed, Early, and Late Stage fundraising stages. These investments in AI include Elevoc, a machine-learning hearing aid. Prospera, data-driven AI for agricultural and climatic development, and Cruise, AI software for self-driving robo-taxis.
Vinod Khosla, a co-founder of Sun Microsystems, established Khosla Ventures in 2004. It mostly focuses on investing in green technologies. However, it does venture into other fields. Khosla Ventures, based in Silicon Valley, California, seeks businesses that are creating more effective solutions than those we now have by using technology or novel business structures. They concentrate on “Black Swan” concepts, which provide creativity beyond what is often anticipated. In light of this, some of their intriguing current AI initiatives include Ayasdi, an AI tool that assists businesses in sorting through complex data to provide useful answers, and Artrendex, AI solutions for the art industry.
Golden Gate Ventures, founded in 2011, invests in Southeast Asian startups. Golden Gate Ventures, which has invested in over 30 firms across seven Southeast Asian nations, focuses its financing mostly on internet and mobile startups that improve payment, e-commerce, SaaS, and marketplace operations. Dynamic initiatives they’ve supported include Carousell, an online marketplace with operations in seven Asian nations, the Korean business Skelter Labs, which creates AI-driven virtual assistant technology, and Perx, a Singaporean AI consumer intelligence and loyalty program.
With its origins in 1983, Accel is a venture capital business with considerable experience. With 30 years of expertise, Accel chooses the companies for their portfolio depending on which ones will take us into the next age. Accel has a remarkable track record for finding and cultivating a worldwide network of extraordinary entrepreneurs, having invested in businesses including Dropbox, Etsy, Spotify, Facebook, and Slack. They recently joined the wave of AI investment, contributing $650K to AceBot, Slack’s AI productivity bot, as well as funding initiatives like Scale, an AI platform to increase access to intelligence, Facilio, an AI facilities management tool for commercial property owners and SigTuple, an, AI healthcare platform.
Highland Capital Partners has gone around the block a few times since its founding in 1988. HCP, which has offices in both the US and China, has raised more than $3 billion and invested in more than 225 businesses. Their investments favor business and technology, and have long supported firms like Lycos, VistaPrint, and Ask Jeeves. They now have a sizable part devoted to AI and machine learning, backing initiatives like Turbonomic, a workload automation platform, and Nutonomy, the first self-driving car firm to have deployed cars on two continents.
NEA is a worldwide venture capital firm investing since 1977, focusing on technology and healthcare. They have invested $19 billion in projects since they first opened, have more than 210 firms in their library, and have made more than 360 acquisitions. When it comes to AI, they are specifically applying their knowledge to cutting-edge projects that combine their areas of expertise. Examples include Syllable, an AI communication platform that aids medical professionals in communicating with patients, and One Concern, a hazard modeling AI tool to help before, during, and after natural disasters.
The California-based investment firm Kleiner Perkins mostly deals with digital startups. With over $10 billion invested in hundreds of companies, they have successfully invested in well-known initiatives, including Ring, Spotify, Slack, Amazon, and Google. They often choose businesses that leverage technology to advance the life sciences as early-stage investors, having most recently supported the well-known AI healthcare firm, Viz.ai. Mist an AI-driven wireless LAN system. Labelbox, a platform for data labeling processes, and Ripcord, for automated document processing, are some of the other AI businesses they are assisting.
A venture capital company headquartered in Hong Kong, Horizon Ventures was founded in 1999. They’ve always had a technology edge to their investment and have supported notable businesses like Skype, Siri, and Facebook. They are in the ideal position to assist AI firms in achieving their objectives since they place a strong emphasis on disruptive technologies that have the potential to change paradigms. Despite having an Asian basis, they are globally renowned. They are currently working on projects with Synthace, an AI biotech firm headquartered in the UK, Saildrone, an AI ocean data gathering company based in the US, and Fano Labs, a natural language processing tool.
Mohr Davidow Ventures, a venture capital company with 30 years of experience, is an early-stage investor focused on technology who wants to reshape global markets. Focusing on cutting-edge technology, MDV seeks equipment that enables communication across the public, private, and personal realms. They’ve provided investment for concepts that emerged in advertising, digital marketing, enterprise applications, education, health, and life tech. They’re now extending their reach into AI businesses that aim to succeed in these and other related sectors. They presently have $1.85 billion under management and collaborate with AI firms like Rocket Fuel, which uses AI to increase marketing ROI, and WorkFusion, an AI-driven platform for operations automation.
Analytics Ventures only works on AI-related initiatives. San Diego, California-based AV, which has an operational staff, a lab full of AI experts, and a venture fund for new ideas, prides itself on being a completely integrated venture ecosystem. AV, which serves as both an incubator and an investor, is currently collaborating with a wide range of AI businesses, including Zerise, an AI operating system for energy distribution across microgrids. CureMetrix provides medical imaging for mammograms, and dynam.AI provides business optimization solutions.
The Silicon Valley-based venture capital company True Ventures aims to support early-stage businesses and has over $2 billion under management. Since its founding in 2005, True Ventures has assisted over 250 firms, working with brands including Ring and Blue Bottle Coffee. They were well-positioned for the future of investment after receiving the National Venture Capital Association’s “Venture Firm of the Year” award the previous year. They are focusing more on technology and have gotten their hands on some of the best artificial intelligence (AI) projects currently available, including Loansnap, which offers AI-driven home loans. Diligent Robotics, which develops AI for robot collaboration, and Zymergen, which allows for biological manipulation.
A worldwide early-stage investment company with a presence in the Bay Area, Sierra Ventures focuses on Next Generation Enterprise and Emerging Technologies. With more than three decades of expertise and over $2 billion in assets under management, Sierra has built a sizable network of prosperous businesspeople, Global 1000 CXOs, operational leaders, and deep topic specialists, offering a platform for entrepreneurs all over the globe.
Source Code Capital, a well-known China VC firm founded in 2014, focuses on the wide TMT industries and invests in both early-stage startups and growth-stage businesses. Source Code supports industries including media and entertainment, consumer services, enterprise, finance, retail, transportation, housing, education, and healthcare while focusing on the Big 3 basic drivers of Internet+, AI+, and Global+. Since its founding, Source Code Capital has partnered with almost 150 of the most prominent Chinese technology innovators, including Bytedance, Meituan, and Homelink. It now has $1.5 billion and RMB 3.5 billion under management.
It’s important to remember that despite the rising interest in and investment in AI, the technology’s ethics, accountability, and reliability still have a long way to go. It is vital to remember that AI does not exist to replace humans but rather to assist and empower them.
Prathamesh Ingle is a Consulting Content Writer at MarktechPost. He is a Mechanical Engineer and working as a Data Analyst. He is also an AI practitioner and certified Data Scientist with interest in applications of AI. He is enthusiastic about exploring new technologies and advancements with their real life applications