IBM on Wednesday announced that it is launching a $500 million venture fund to invest in a range of artificial intelligence (AI) companies — from early-stage to hyper-growth startups — focused on accelerating generative AI technology and research for the enterprise.

The IBM Enterprise AI Venture Fund will invest in current and future AI leaders who are helping businesses around the world realize the potential of AI for business.

“AI is slated to unlock nearly $16 trillion in productivity by 2030. 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,” Rob Thomas, Senior Vice President of software and Chief Commercial Officer, IBM, said in a statement.
With this venture fund, the company said it will grow its ecosystem of AI partnerships, including working with companies leveraging and building on Watsonx — and create long-term value for AI leaders as well as new and existing clients.

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The fund will provide each startup with opportunities to develop meaningful partnerships with IBM while gaining operational expertise on product and engineering and go-to-market strategies, the company said.

Moreover, IBM has demonstrated its commitment to promoting AI for business through its recent investments in AI technology and companies.

In August, IBM announced its participation in Hugging Face’s $235 million Series D fundraising round.

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Hugging Face is the leading open-source collaboration platform for the machine learning community shaping the future of AI.

“With hundreds of open models on the Hugging Face hub, they are significantly boosting the open-source ecosystem. This is the reason why we wanted to have them join our series D round,” said Hugging Face co-founder and CEO, Clem Delangue.