Helena Lyng Blak
1 week ago

Tech Juggernaut to Invest $1 Billion in AI Startups

Who wants to play catchup?
Cisco Facility in Silicon Valley. — Photo by wolterke
Cisco Facility in Silicon Valley. — Photo by wolterke

There is no stopping the AI-train, it seems. As the wheels on the bus of artificial intelligence go round and round and round, an increasing number of tech’s biggest and brightest are throwing their hat (and big sums of money) in the ring to catch a ride to the era of AI.

On Tuesday, June 4, 2024, tech powerhouse Cisco Systems announced that it was launching a $1 billion global AI investment fund. 

The California-based company said in a press release that the fund will be investing in startups with the goal of expanding and developing “secure, reliable and trustworthy AI solutions.”

“The establishment of our $1 billion AI investment fund is a testament to our commitment to the transformative power of artificial intelligence and its potential to redefine industries globally,” said SVP of Corporate Development and Cisco Investments Derek Idemoto.

“This fund represents our unwavering commitment to AI and innovation, and to the entrepreneurs and visionaries who are defining the next wave of technology.”

Cisco further announced the first three companies that will benefit from the fund:

Cohere, whose customers include companies such as Oracle and Notion, provides generative AI solutions for businesses, specializing in large language models (LLMs). Cohere’s other investors include NVIDIA and Salesforce Ventures. 

Mistral AI describes themselves as a “small, creative team with high scientific standard”. The company, which is based in France and was founded by former Meta and Google employees, produces open source LLMs. 

Scale AI’s 900-person staff all work towards their declared mission of accelerating the development of AI applications by specializing in providing ‘labeled data’ to train AI applications. 

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