IBM, the leading American technology firm that is known for its hardware and software products, has launched a $500 million fund to invest in generative AI startups focused on enterprise customers, it announced in a statement on Tuesday. The fund will invest in startups across various stages, from early-stage to hyper-growth, all across the world.
The company has been making AI investments even earlier but the fund will apparently help it expand its exposure. In August, IBM participated in Hugging Face’s $235 million Series D, and in September, it invested in HiddenLayer’s $50 million Series A.
Rob Thomas, Senior Vice President, Software and Chief Commercial Officer, IBM, said, “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.
“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,” the IBM executive added.
In addition to providing the startups with capital, IBM’s latest fund will also offer each startup they invest in the opportunity to develop partnerships with them and gain expertise on product, engineering, and go-to-market strategies from IBM’s team.
The company hopes that the fund will help grow its ecosystem of AI partnerships, including collaboration with companies that leverage and build on IBM’s AI and data platform, WatsonX.