Moonfire Raises $115 Million for AI-Centric Early-Stage Startups

artificial intelligence

Moonfire Ventures has raised $115 million for European early-stage startups and the artificial intelligence (AI) space.

The new fund is the latest in a series of examples of venture capital (VC) interest in AI.

“With this new fund, we’re also continuing our mission to integrate state-of-the-art technology across the full VC value chain,” the company said in its Wednesday (May 24) announcement. “We believe this will usher in a transformative era in venture capital — one that merges artificial intelligence and machine efficiency with the unique capabilities of human insight and decision-making.”

The growth of AI in Europe has led policymakers there — as in other parts of the world — to want to regulate the industry.

Earlier this month, EU lawmakers voted on new transparency regulations for generative AI applications like ChatGPT, part of a broader package of AI rules that also includes a ban on the use of facial recognition in public and on predictive policing tools.

The EU’s AI Act could end up being the first comprehensive legislation governing AI on the planet.

“This vote is a milestone in regulating AI and a clear signal from the Parliament that fundamental rights should be a cornerstone of that,” Kim van Sparrentak, a member of Holland’s Greens party, said at the time. “AI should serve people, society and the environment, not the other way around.”

Meanwhile, early-stage funding in Europe has been in a fairly healthy space, exceeding funding for late-stage firms earlier this year for the first time since the fourth quarter of 2020 by $600 million.

In an interview with PYMNTS in April, Zeynep Yavuz, FinTech partner at early-stage venture capital firm General Catalyst, discussed the potential these companies have to tap into the “VC dry powder” in Europe at a time when growth-stage firms are facing stock market challenges.

“I believe it’s an amazing time to build a company, and because the funding market has slowed down in the growth- and late-stage space, a lot of the capital is shifting to early-stage,” she said.

Growth-stage companies, said Yavz, face the largest hurdles.

“The first category that gets hit [amid stock market challenges] is whoever is closer to the public markets, and those are growth-stage companies,” she explained.

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