Best Venture Capital Firms Investing in AI

Benjamin Debonneville
Founder & CEO
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AI is transforming our world, and fast. Think of self-driving cars, life-saving healthcare bots, or those nifty virtual assistants you chat with.

As per reports, by 2025, global AI venture capital funding is projected to exceed $50 billion. That's a testament to the unwavering belief in the potential of AI.

1. Index Ventures

As AI shapes industries and redefines innovations, venture capital's role in nurturing these AI-driven ventures becomes more crucial than ever. Here's to a future that's intelligent, interconnected, and inspired!

As our world hurtles towards a tech-driven future, venture capitalists are placing their bets firmly on AI innovators.

Why? Because AI isn't just the future—it's the here and now. Curious about the big players in VC supporting this AI revolution? Let's discuss some of the best ones out there.

15 Best VC Firms Investing in Artificial Intelligence

Though the list of VC firms investing in AI is extensive, given its explosive market growth, we've distilled it down. Here's a roundup of the top 15 trailblazers leading the charge.

Founded in 1996, Index Ventures stands as a luminary in funding bold and disruptive tech brainchildren. Commanding a substantial portfolio fueled by $5.6 billion, this venture capital firm has been instrumental in elevating sectors from fintech to e-commerce.

However, it's their unparalleled drive for artificial intelligence that truly makes waves. Their contributions to AI mavericks like Scale, Aurora, and Gong underscore their commitment to the sector.

And as the calendar pages are near towards 2024, their unwavering focus on AI's boundless frontier only intensifies.

Collaborating side-by-side with startups, right from the embryonic seed stages to meteoric growth, Index Ventures assures that entrepreneurial dreams aren't just realized, but amplified across global arenas.

Best Suited Startups:

  • Early-Stage Visionaries: Startups in seed or Series A rounds with revolutionary AI concepts, ready to scale globally.
  • AI Innovators: Companies diving deep into AI's uncharted territories like deep learning, automation, and predictive analytics.
  • Global Ambitions: AI-driven businesses with a vision to make an international impact, benefiting from the Index's transatlantic reach.

2. Sequoia Capital

Established in sunny California in 1972, Sequoia Capital's presence in the venture capital arena has been monumental.

Holding the accolade for the highest number of AI investments in 2020, they boldly plunged into 52 VC rounds, encompassing both fledgling and established entities.

Their vision? Nurturing tomorrow's game-changers from the very seed of their inception. While the world grappled with the pandemic, Sequoia showcased their unwavering commitment by announcing a mammoth $7 billion fundraiser for tech initiatives spanning the US to Southeast Asia.

Notable mentions from their AI treasure trove include BasisAI's scalable ML prowess and Nugit's AI-driven marketing insights.

Best Suited Startups:

  • Seed Stage Mavericks: Startups in their infancy, with Sequoia's track record highlighting their affinity for foundational investments, like YouTube and Airbnb.
  • AI Innovators: Businesses like BasisAI, harnessing AI to craft scalable solutions, especially catering to Asian enterprises.
  • Data Driven Marketers: Ventures, akin to Nugit, merge AI and NLG to metamorphose marketing data into actionable insights.

3. Softbank Group

Headquartered in Japan, Softbank Group stands as a beacon in the global tech scene. Led by Japan's wealthiest individual, Masayoshi Son, who dedicates an astounding 97% of his energy to AI innovation, Softbank isn't just any tech conglomerate.

Their monumental Softbank Vision Fund, boasting a hefty $93 billion, earmarks $28 billion specifically for AI ventures.

With investments in pioneering entities like SenseTime, renowned for its facial recognition and AR capabilities, and Petuum Inc., a trailblazer in scalable machine learning, Softbank's commitment to the AI ecosystem is undeniable.

Their vision? Harnessing digital tech to sculpt a society where convenience, comfort, and safety reign supreme.

Best Suited Startups:

  • AI Pioneers: Startups like SenseTime, focus on groundbreaking AI applications such as facial recognition and augmented reality.
  • Scalable Solution Providers: Ventures in the vein of Petuum Inc., aiming to elevate and scale machine learning capabilities.
  • Tech-Driven Innovators: Companies leveraging AI for sustainable solutions in industries like investment and lifestyle, akin to Clarity AI.

4. Andreessen Horowitz

In the heart of Silicon Valley since 2009, Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) has been a beacon for ambitious tech entrepreneurs.

With a formidable $7.1 billion spread over seven funds, their mantra, ‘Software is eating the world’, sets the tone.

Deeply vested in AI, a16z champions revolutionary ventures like Freenome AI for early cancer detection and's NLP prowess.

Boasting an all-star team of former founders and tech visionaries, they don’t just finance; they mentor, and guide startups with a trove of industry insights. This is more than venture capital; it’s a commitment to redefining the future.

Best Suited Startups:

  • Healthcare Innovators: Startups leveraging AI for medical breakthroughs, early diagnosis, and treatment advancements.
  • Autonomous Architects: Companies focusing on AI-driven autonomous solutions, like vehicle delivery platforms or surveillance software.
  • Natural Language Pioneers: Ventures mastering NLP to create intuitive, intelligent application interfaces for varied industries.

5. AIX Ventures

From the heart of Newark, California, AIX Ventures, established in 2021, emerges as a powerhouse in early-stage AI investment.

Steering a $50 million fund with a sequel on the horizon, AIX is led by global AI visionaries, passionately investing in startups where AI isn't just an add-on, but the nucleus.

Their portfolio spans a diverse AI landscape, from unique language translation platforms to avant-garde weather prediction systems.

With a mission that transcends sectors, AIX ardently supports its startups, infusing them with strategic insights, aiding in pivotal hiring decisions, and propelling them to their next funding frontier. With them, AI's future looks luminous.

Best Suited Startups:

  • AI-Centric Innovators: Companies where AI is the central feature, such as advanced language translation platforms.
  • Early Birds: Startups at the pre-seed and seed stages, looking for an investment between $500K - $2M.
  • Dynamic Disruptors: Founders with a vision to upheave industries using AI, already showcasing tangible product-market fit and revenue.

6. Amadeus Capital

Trailblazing since 1997, Amadeus Capital Partners stands as a beacon in the global tech investment arena.

With an impressive track record of supporting over 190 transformative companies, they've channeled more than $1 billion into budding innovations.

Their investment prowess spans across various stages, from sprouting seeds to flourishing growth phases.

However, their keen interest lies in the pulsating world of AI, leveraging machine learning and data analytics to sculpt the technological landscape.

Operating from strategic global bases, including London and San Francisco, Amadeus commits to kindling the spirit of innovation, powering AI-driven startups to reach unmatched heights.

Best Suited Startups:

  • Early Innovators: Startups in seed, start-up, or scale-up phases with distinguished AI-centric intellectual property from the UK.
  • AI Pathbreakers: Ventures operating within AI, machine learning, and data analytics, ready for an insightful partnership and global network benefits.
  • Diverse Sectors: AI-driven entities within sectors like digital health, fintech, enterprise SaaS, or digital media looking for growth acceleration.

7. Partech Ventures

Partech Ventures, rooted in Silicon Valley since 1982, thrives on a rich legacy of empowering innovation. Established by European trailblazers, they've since spanned four continents, supporting 220+ businesses in 40 countries.

From modest beginnings as Bank Paribas' venture arm, Partech rebounded post the dot-com crash, branching into growth strategies and spearheading Europe's tech frontier.

Their portfolio showcases an investment reach from a modest $200k to a whopping $75M, covering diverse sectors.

Their AI accolades? Ventures like Mooncard and Pennylane stand testimony. At Partech, the journey isn't just about funding—it's about kindling digital transformation with a personal touch.

Best Suited Startups:

  • Dynamic Dreamers: AI startups, from ideation (pre-seed) to scaling (Series F), seeking robust support and global reach.
  • Sector Shifters: AI innovations in fintech, health tech, and mobile, poised for market disruption and global impact.
  • Transformation Partners: Startups aiming for side-by-side collaboration, with a shared ambition to redefine digital landscapes.

8. Institutional Venture Partners

IVP, a US-based powerhouse in private equity, wields a formidable $7 billion in committed capital, poised mainly for late-stage investments.

With a 40-year legacy, their track record gleams with over 130 IPOs, having bolstered game-changers like Slack, Github, and Sumo Logic.

Their finesse? Spotting potential AI gems early on, and skyrocketing their success. In 2018, their funding prowess shone with Ziprecruiter, one of the top-funded AI endeavors.

With a deep-rooted network and a passion for unearthing potential, IVP isn't just about funds—it's about building enduring AI market leaders.

Best Suited Startups:

  • Late Bloomers: AI companies approaching their final growth phase, ready for a transformative push.
  • Undiscovered Gems: Startups with a unique AI value, yet to be recognized by the wider market.
  • Ambitious Leaders: AI endeavors aiming for IPOs and longing for a partner with proven expertise in the journey.

9. M12

M12, originally Microsoft Ventures, is Microsoft's power-packed VC fund laser-focused on AI. Born in 2016, with roots in North America and Israel, it has now expanded its reach globally.

M12 isn’t just about providing funds—it's about building AI legends. With the backing of Microsoft, startups get unparalleled access to a vast ocean of expertise and resources.

M12 has fueled groundbreaking projects like Tact AI, Unbabel, and Private AI.

Recently, Microsoft’s acquisition of Nuance, a health tech AI gem, for a whopping $19.7 billion underlines their belief in AI's transformative power.

Best Suited Startups:

  • Early Birds: Startups in the initial stages, passionate about shaping the AI realm.
  • B2B Oriented: AI firms seeking deep partnerships over mere funding, benefiting from Microsoft’s vast ecosystem.
  • Innovative Pioneers: Projects revolutionizing AI applications, like bridging 2D-3D gaps or enabling robots to understand human nuances.

10. General Catalyst

Established in 2000, General Catalyst isn’t just another VC firm; they're agents of change. True to their name, they catalyze transformations, from startups to household names in the tech sphere.

Their dedication to responsible innovation resonates, as they empower ventures to align with modern societal values, ensuring growth is not just rapid but righteous.

They’ve boosted pioneers like Grammarly and, seamlessly merging AI with daily life, and championing both technology and ethics.

Their goal? Investing in ventures that don't just profit, but positively impact lives, shaping a tech-empowered, ethical future.

Best Suited Startups:

  • Ethical Innovators: AI startups valuing responsible growth, respecting privacy, and promoting inclusivity.
  • Momentum Seekers: Enterprises ready to accelerate, leveraging General Catalyst's vast experience and network.
  • Lifecycle Partners: AI ventures, from seed to growth, aspiring for a hands-on VC throughout their journey.

11. Two Sigma Ventures

In a world shifting at warp speed, Two Sigma Ventures is ahead of the curve. With over 15 years under their belt and a portfolio boasting 100+ companies, they're not just investors; they're visionaries.

Their compass? A trifecta of expanding information access, pushing the boundaries of computer science, and partnering with ingenious founders.

Companies like Amper Music, Zymergen, and Socore stand testament to their knack for identifying AI's potential to revolutionize sectors.

As a subsidiary of Two Sigma Investments, they tap into vast technical expertise, providing not just capital but the brainpower of 200 PhDs and 1,600 seasoned professionals.

Best Suited Startups:

  • Data-Driven Disruptors: Startups harnessing the power of data science and advanced engineering to redefine industries.
  • Early Bloomers: AI ventures, from seed to series B, seeking long-term partnerships and unmatched expertise.
  • Visionary Innovators: Companies aspiring to amplify human potential and interaction through cutting-edge AI solutions.

12. Source Code Capital

Emerging from China in 2014, Source Code Capital rapidly carved a niche in the AI investment arena.

Backing over 300 firms, they’re not just investors but catalysts of innovation, with Bytedance and Meituan as shining examples.

With RMB 35 billion under management, they've established a "Code Class" hub, fostering collaboration and shared insights among AI entrepreneurs.

They believe in the trifecta of the internet, AI, and global potential, and their diversified investment in AI firms, from vehicle evaluation wizards Che300 to chatbot creators, is a testament to their commitment to the future.

Best Suited Startups:

  • Emerging Innovators: Early-stage AI startups seeking more than just capital: mentorship, networking, and growth via the Code Class ecosystem.
  • AI Pioneers: Companies specializing in unique niches like cognitive computing, NLP, or data-driven solutions, are eager for expansive growth.
  • Cross-Industry Transformers: AI ventures aiming to redefine sectors like finance, retail, or healthcare, aligning with Source Code’s diverse investment interests.

13. 3TS Capital Partners

For over two decades, 3TS Capital Partners has anchored European tech growth, pouring over €400 million into ambitious businesses.

A leading investor in the TMT sectors, 3TS champions both local leaders and global challengers, seeing beyond borders and sectors.

With investments ranging from €300,000 to €10 million, they've backed over 50 enterprises, celebrating significant exits in more than half.

Recent accolades include a noteworthy investment in Generative AI and a breakout $200m financing in ShiftMed. While technology evolves, 3TS remains steadfast in its mission: driving growth and realizing potential.

Best Suited Startups:

  • Innovative AI Pioneers: Companies harnessing the power of Generative AI or similar groundbreaking innovations, eyeing global markets.
  • Scale-Up Stars: AI-driven SMEs, poised for rapid expansion, seeking both capital and experienced partnership.
  • Resilient Revenue Generators: AI startups with a proven track record, boasting impressive year-on-year growth, eager to scale further.

14. Toyota AI Ventures

From the bustling heart of the San Francisco Bay, Toyota Ventures surges forward, earmarking $100 million for audacious AI and robotics projects.

Fueled by Toyota's rich legacy, this venture arm champions pioneers in AI, from home-care robots like Elementary Robotics to emotion-sensing software for autonomous vehicles, such as Perceptive Automata. But they're not just silent backers.

With Toyota’s vast expertise, startups get unparalleled support, mentorship, and guidance. This venture isn't just about funding; it's about reimagining the future, inspired by Toyota's transformation from looms to legendary cars.

Best Suited Startups:

  • Robotics Revolutionaries: AI startups crafting innovative solutions for daily life, like home care and automation.
  • Emotion AI Trailblazers: Ventures delving into understanding human sentiments for enhanced autonomous mobility experiences.
  • Autonomous Innovators: Early-stage companies focused on software and solutions that propel autonomous vehicles to new horizons.

15. Data Collective

For over 13 years, Data Collective has championed deep tech, believing true innovation improves the common good.

Boasting a portfolio of 200+ companies and an impressive $3 billion+ in assets, they hold a record: the most AI-backed startups since 2012.

Their passion? Amplifying brilliant entrepreneurs, especially those in Big Data, tackling global challenges.

Not just financiers, their team, rich with scientists and successful founders, ensures startups like Plenty and Vicarious don’t just survive but thrive, revolutionizing industries stagnant for decades.

Best Suited Startups:

  • Big Data Dynamos: Startups diving deep into data analytics, transforming raw information into actionable insights.
  • Agritech Adventurers: Innovators using AI to redefine sustainable agriculture, boosting yields while minimizing environmental impact.
  • Neuro-Innovators: Ventures exploring brain-mimicking algorithms, pushing the boundaries of machine learning and robotic intelligence.

Final Thoughts

By 2030, it's predicted that investments in AI will contribute to nearly 15% of global GDP growth. As we journeyed through these pioneering VC firms, it's evident they're placing their bets on a future where AI isn't just an advantage—it's the norm.

Benjamin gave great tips to my start-up Blend for polishing and optimising my pitch deck, refreshing perspective. Recommend!