Google has recently announced a new venture fund specifically focused on Artificial Intelligence. Gradient Ventures, a new venture fund from Google with technical mentorship for early-stage startups focused on artificial intelligence. Through Gradient, Google will provide portfolio companies with capital, resources, and dedicated access to experts and boot camps in AI. Google will take a minority stake in the startups in which they invest.
Many members of our team are engineers, so we’re familiar with the journey from big idea to product launch. The goal is to help our portfolio companies overcome engineering challenges to create products that will apply artificial intelligence to today’s challenges and those we’ll face in the future.
Anna Patterson, formerly Vice President of Engineering in AI, is the managing partner and will be overseeing the fund’s investments and activities. The team also includes another Google engineer, as well as a former Partner from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.
The goal is to help the portfolio companies overcome engineering challenges to create products that will apply artificial intelligence to today’s challenges and those we’ll face in the future.
website: Gradient Ventures
Gradient Venture’s portfolio includes four companies already.
1. Algorithmia – Algorithmia is a community of developers, researchers and organizations that contribute to a marketplace made up of algorithms, functions and models.
2. Cogniac – Cogniac provides software to easily create and visually compose Convolutional Neural Network models.
3. CAPE – Cape virtualizes drone hardware enabling people to fly drones remotely.
4. Aurima – Aurima is a company developing an alternative sensing modality together with deep AI modeling.
Source: Google Blog
Google is not the first company to invest in artificial intelligence. Earlier this month, Toyota Research Institute introduced its own $100 million venture fund called Toyota AI Ventures. Toyota plans to invest in startups specializing in artificial intelligence, self-driving vehicles, robotics, data analytics, and cloud computing technology.
Companies like Samsung and Microsoft has also invested in AI based startups. Samsung NEXT created a $150 million fund to finance early-stage startups specializing in artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and Internet-connected devices. Microsoft Ventures invests in startups focused on AI, big data & analytics, machine learning and security.