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Nvidia Invests in 35 AI Companies in 2023

Nvidia building

Nvidia, the world’s most valuable chipmaker, has solidified its position as a prominent investor in artificial intelligence (AI) startups this year.

The company has participated in 35 deals in 2023, marking a significant increase from the previous year and making it one of the most active investors in the AI space, the Financial Times (FT) reported Monday (Dec. 11), citing estimates by Dealroom.

Nvidia’s investments span a wide range, from major AI platforms valued in the billions of dollars to smaller startups focusing on applying AI in sectors like healthcare and energy, according to the report.

The company’s investment strategy centers around companies that use its technology and products, the report said. To facilitate this, Nvidia has established a dedicated venture capital arm called NVentures, which, alongside its corporate development team, has built a portfolio that includes prominent AI players such as Inflection AI and Cohere.

Nvidia’s portfolio also features investments in Hugging Face, a provider of data and tools for AI developers, and CoreWeave, a cloud infrastructure company specializing in high-performance computing applications that depend on Nvidia’s graphics processing units (GPUs), per the report. Recently, Nvidia made a substantial investment in Mistral, a Paris-based AI startup valued at 2 billion euros (about $2.2 billion).

All the companies in Nvidia’s portfolio are also customers of the chipmaker, utilizing either its GPU chips or software, according to the report. Particularly sought-after this year in Silicon Valley is Nvidia’s H100 GPU, a powerful processor that enables creators of “large language models” to train their systems more efficiently, making it a valuable asset for companies in the generative AI field.

Nvidia’s investment approach involves writing significant checks, often in the tens of millions of dollars, from its own balance sheet, the report said. While NVentures aims to generate healthy returns from its investments, the corporate development team focuses on strategic purposes. Nvidia takes the lead in investment rounds and also co-invests alongside venture capital firms.

It was reported in September that Nvidia has become the go-to company for computer chips used in AI processes, which has shut off the funding tap for its potential competitors.