- IBM is injecting $500 million into an AI venture fund in an effort to bolster enterprise-grade generative AI solutions, the company announced Tuesday.
- The investment will go toward a range of AI companies, from early-stage startups to rapidly growing industry leaders, IBM said. As part of the venture fund, selected startups will work with a dedicated team at IBM on go-to-market strategies.
- “With the launch of the IBM Enterprise AI Venture Fund, we're opening another channel to harness the enormous potential of the AI revolution into tangible, positive outcomes for IBM and the companies we invest in," said Rob Thomas, SVP, software and chief commercial officer at the company, said in the announcement.
The strategy has given the company some momentum. Data and AI revenue was up 6% quarter-over-quarter for the company in Q3.
“This fund is yet another way we're doubling down on our commitment to responsible AI innovation through watsonx and helping organizations put this transformational technology to work,” Thomas said.
The company’s watsonx platform serves as a home to trainable foundation models, AI-optimized data storage capabilities and a governance toolkit.
“Our book of business in the third quarter specifically related to generative AI was in the low hundreds of millions of dollars,” IBM CEO Arvind Krishna said during the company’s Q3 earnings call in October. “The interest is larger, with thousands of hands-on interactions with our clients.”
The company is looking at cloud-based and on-premise options for generative AI deployment. IBM and VMware paired VMware’s Cloud Foundation, Red Hat OpenShift and the watsonx platform to enable enterprises to access IBM’s platform in a private, on-premise infrastructure, the companies announced Tuesday.
IBM previously invested in AI-focused startups including Hugging Face in August and HiddenLayer in September. Through its investments, IBM wants to position itself as a leader in infrastructure and expertise to draw in enterprise customers interested in generative AI adoption.