IBM has revealed a $500 million venture fund with the goal of investing in AI enterprises, ranging from early-stage startups to rapidly growing businesses. This initiative further strengthens IBM’s position in supporting enterprises in adopting Generative AI (GenAI) in a safe manner.
IBM Enterprise AI Venture Fund
IBM’s Enterprise AI Venture Fund aims to expedite research and development in generative AI technology for the enterprise sector. Through its expertise in the field and a dedicated team for portfolio development, IBM seeks to identify and support leaders in AI who are instrumental in unlocking the full potential of AI in enterprises.
The fund will be led by IBM’s experienced team, which possesses a deep understanding of investing and enterprise AI. Startups chosen for investment will not only receive financial support but will also have the opportunity to forge meaningful partnerships with IBM. They will also benefit from IBM’s proficiency in product development, engineering, and go-to-market strategies. By collaborating with these companies, IBM aims to expand its AI ecosystem and create long-term value for AI leaders.
IBM’s recent AI investments
IBM has been actively investing in this sector. It recently participated in a $235 million Series D funding round for Hugging Face, a prominent open-source AI collaboration platform. IBM has also contributed various open models and datasets to Hugging Face, including the Geospatial Foundation Model, which was developed in collaboration with NASA. This model is the largest geospatial foundation model on Hugging Face and the first open-source AI foundation model created in partnership with NASA.
In addition to this, IBM invested in HiddenLayer’s Series A funding round to support the expansion of its talent pool and the development of its Machine Learning Security (MLSec) platform, focused on safeguarding AI assets. The aim of this partnership is to enhance AI threat detection capabilities and cater to companies at the forefront of AI security. IBM also recently acquired Manta, bolstering its data management capabilities for AI.
IBM’s announcement builds on the momentum of its AI and data platform, Watson.x, and aligns with its strategy to accelerate open innovation in AI by utilizing both third-party and proprietary AI models.
The company recently introduced the Watson.x Granite Model Series, which consists of generic AI models designed to enhance their integration into business applications and workflows. IBM also plans to incorporate Meta’s Llama2-Chat 70 billion parameter model within Watson.x, reinforcing its commitment to open innovation in AI.
IBM is not the only tech company with a venture fund targeting AI innovation. Last month, Visa launched a $100 million venture fund to support startups focused on GenAI-based solutions, while Microsoft, Google, and NVIDIA are all active investors in AI.
The new IBM fund distinguishes itself by combining IBM’s domain expertise with its dedicated portfolio development team, showcasing its dedication to nurturing AI startups and helping them thrive. By providing not only financial support but also strategic guidance and operational expertise, IBM contributes to the growth of AI-focused companies and fosters innovation within the AI ecosystem.
IBM’s investment, coupled with ongoing efforts in AI model development, underscores its broader commitment to advancing responsible AI innovation and promoting open collaboration in the field. IBM’s increasing focus on AI and its integration into the enterprise sector remains one of the most captivating narratives in the tech industry today.
Disclosure: Steve McDowell is an industry analyst, and NAND Research An industry analyst firm that engages or has engaged in research, analysis, and advisory services with a number of technology companies, which may include the companies mentioned in this article. Mr. McDowell does not hold any equity positions in any companies mentioned in this article.