Why Europe Must End Its 30-Year Digital Winter to Ensure Its Long-Run Future

Meet the Titans: Major Players Funding the Future of AI

Saudi Arabia aims to carve out a leadership role in the burgeoning artificial intelligence (AI) field with a proposed $40 billion investment fund, as The New York Times reported. The country is one of many global giants in the race to shape the future of AI, including Andreessen Horowitz and Nvidia, with investments in generative AI and other technologies. 

Companies and investors are bullish on AI because they see it as a game-changing innovation that could transform entire industries, generate economic value, and provide powerful competitive advantages. AI has the potential to revolutionize business processes, decision-making, customer experiences, and product development. According to PwC, AI is expected to add as much as $15.7 trillion to the global economy by 2030, with $6.6 trillion stemming from enhanced productivity and another $9.1 trillion from effects on the consumer side.

Here are some of the big players funding AI:

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia is taking a significant step to secure its place as a leader in the industry. The New York Times has reported that the nation, with its wealth in oil, is considering establishing a $40 billion fund aimed at AI technology investments, based on information from three people familiar with the matter. With over $900 billion in assets, the country’s Public Investment Fund is engaging with top venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz and others in Silicon Valley to discuss potential collaborations for this project. 

SoftBank

Masayoshi Son, the leader of SoftBank Group, has said he is committed to intensifying his investments in AI. As reported by Bloomberg, he is on a mission to secure $100 billion for a new venture to enter the AI chip market and position it as a formidable competitor against industry giants like Nvidia.

Google

Last year, Google agreed to invest up to $2 billion in Anthropic as part of its efforts to compete with Microsoft and OpenAI. The investment includes $500 million upfront and $1.5 billion over time. Anthropic has also received $100 million from two Asian telecoms and $4 billion from Amazon.

Meta

Meta Platforms, Facebook’s parent company, said AI will be its primary investment focus this year, with CEO Mark Zuckerberg emphasizing investments in engineering and computing resources. The aim is to integrate AI more deeply into its advertising business and suite of apps, improving the Ads Manager and facilitating commerce for advertisers through optimized images and text. 

Microsoft

In January 2023, Microsoft put a whopping $10 billion into OpenAI, a company based in San Francisco. This sum bumped Microsoft’s investment in OpenAI to $13 billion. Even though Microsoft owns almost half of OpenAI (49%), it doesn’t get to make decisions on how OpenAI is run. This deal means Microsoft could get three-quarters of OpenAI’s profits until it gets back the $10 billion it invested. By February, OpenAI’s value shot up to $80 billion. Microsoft’s hefty investment is one reason why OpenAI is now seen as so valuable. In addition to OpenAI, Microsoft is investing $2.1 billion in another AI company, Mistral, based in France. 

Intel

Intel recently announced plans to invest over $100 billion in the U.S. over the next five years to build and expand its AI chip manufacturing factories in Arizona, Ohio, New Mexico and Oregon. The investments are expected to create over 10,000 manufacturing and almost 20,000 construction jobs.  

Insight Partners 

Insight Partners has poured about $4 billion into AI companies, according to Crunchbase. In 2022, the company led a significant investment in Astronomer, a data organization tool. Despite already investing a lot in similar technologies, they started focusing more on new ways to develop and manage artificial intelligence, especially language-based AI, as shown by Databricks buying another company, MosaicML. 

Nvidia

Nvidia, now the world’s most valuable chipmaker, has emerged as a leading investor in AI startups this year, leveraging its dominant position in the AI processor market. The company, based in Silicon Valley, said it invested in over two dozen AI-related companies last year, ranging from large, multibillion-dollar AI platforms to smaller startups focusing on sectors like healthcare and energy.

AI Fund

AI Fund is a venture studio backed by Andrew Ng, the founder of DeepLearning.AI and co-founder of Coursera and Sequoia Capital. The fund focuses on supporting and building artificial intelligence startups by providing them with resources, expertise, and capital. With Ng’s extensive experience in AI and Sequoia’s strong track record in venture capital, AI Fund aims to identify and nurture promising AI companies that have the potential to create significant value and impact across various industries.