Artificial intelligence is gaining more interest as companies are beginning to invest heavily into the technology. This week, Google and Toyota both announced the launch of new venture capital funds to support growing AI startups.
Toyota announced the launch of Toyota AI Ventures, a new venture capital subsidiary that will provide early-stage financing to startup technology companies. As part of the launch, the company is investing an initial $100 million into the VC. The venture has already made three investments into Nauto, SLAMCore and Intuition Robotics. The AI Ventures will provide mentorship and support in artificial intelligence, robotics, autonomous mobility, and data and cloud technology.
“We realize that we don’t have all of the answers. A lot of disruptive technologies come from startups and we want to help them be successful,” said Adler. “One of the biggest challenges entrepreneurs face is knowing if they’re building the right product for the right market. We can help them navigate that uncertainty, and we’re committed to doing so in a founder-friendly way because their success is our success,” said Jim Adler, managing director of Toyota AI Ventures.
Google announced the new venture fund Gradient Ventures. Gradient Ventures is designed to provide technical mentorship for early-stage startups looking to make a name is artificial intelligence. In addition to funding, Gradient will provide resources and access to experts and bootcamps in AI. “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, founder and manager partner for Gradient Ventures, wrote in a post.
Gradient’s first companies include Algorithmia for algorithms and functions, and Cogniac for visual models.