Sapphire Ventures to invest $1bn into AI start-ups

Sapphire Ventures will use capital from existing funds to invest directly into AI start-ups – including generative AI companies

US-based venture capital firm Sapphire Ventures is to invest $1bn (£774m) into AI start-ups globally.

The capital will come from the firm’s existing funds, it said, with the majority of cash going directly into AI start-ups – including those operating in the generative AI space. Another portion will be reserved for early-stage AI-focused venture funds.

Over the past six months, over $40bn (£31bn) has been pumped into AI start-ups – a quarter of all start-up investment according to Pitchbook – and PwC says it has the potential to add $15.7tn (£12.1tn) to the global economy by 2030.

“AI is really game-changing because it’s impacting the way new software is going to be built,” Jai Das of Sapphire Ventures said at a Reuters conference. “This is not just a commitment in dollars, it’s also the commitment that we are going to build up the infrastructure within the firm to help AI companies be successful.”

Sapphire Ventures invests in B2B software start-ups across the US, Europe and Israel with previous investments including Cazoo, Matillion and Unmind.

“AI represents a profound technology shift, and our $1bn commitment reflects our conviction in the opportunity,” Nino Marakovic, CEO and co-founder of the VC firm said. “We believe companies are only beginning to see the benefits of AI and generative AI, specifically.

“Soon, we expect there to be a massive, AI-driven productivity boom that will benefit workers at every level and create value throughout the global economy. We’re eager to back the next wave of enterprise innovators driving this evolution.”

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Dom Walbanke

Dom Walbanke

Dom is a feature writer for Growth Business and Small Business, focused on matters concerning start-ups and scale-ups. He has also been published in the Independent, FourFourTwo magazine and various lifestyle...

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