IBM Announces $500 Million Venture Fund for Enterprise AI Startups

IBM, a participant in the $235 million series D funding round for open source AI platform Hugging Face, has revealed its plans to increase investment in enterprise AI-focused startups. The company is launching a $500 million venture fund to support a range of AI companies, from early-stage to hyper-growth startups, with a focus on accelerating generative AI technology and research for the enterprise.

Commitment to Responsible AI Innovation

In a press release, Rob Thomas, Senior Vice President, Software and Chief Commercial Officer at IBM, stated, “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.”

“This is the reason why we wanted to have them join our series D round,” said Clem Delangue, co-founder and CEO of Hugging Face. “I am convinced that they’ll be able to accelerate their impact on AI with the IBM Enterprise AI Venture Fund.”

IBM has already made a $50 million series A investment in Hidden Layer, a security provider for AI models and assets. The company’s venture fund aligns with the trend of corporate venture capitalists investing in AI startups, with examples including Salesforce, Workday, OpenAI, and Amazon.

Addressing Controversial Comments and Ensuring Job Security

IBM CEO Arvind Krishna has faced backlash for his comments about job losses related to AI. However, at a recent event, he clarified that he is committed to not cutting workers and aims to increase their numbers. He highlighted that while repetitive white-collar jobs can be automated, his focus is on enabling employees to take on more strategic and meaningful responsibilities.

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