• | 1:00 pm

Is Saudi Arabia planning to create a $40 billion AI fund with VC firms?

According to reports, Saudi’s sovereign wealth fund is in talks with American venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz and others to create an AI fund.

Is Saudi Arabia planning to create a $40 billion AI fund with VC firms?
[Source photo: Anvita Gupta/Fast Company Middle East]

In February, Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund’s (PIF) Governor, Yasir Al-Rumayyan, pitched the kingdom as a potential artificial intelligence hub outside the US, referring to the country’s energy resources and funding capabilities.

“AI will consume a lot of energy, and we are the global leader when it comes to fossil fuel energy and when it comes to renewable energy,” said Al-Rumayyan, adding that the kingdom had the “political will” to foster AI projects as well as ample funds under its toolbelt that it could dedicate towards boosting the technology’s development.

With this aim in mind, the Saudi government plans to create a fund of about $40 billion to invest in AI, the New York Times reported.

PIF representatives have been in talks with US venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, among other financiers, in recent weeks for prospective partnerships.

Andreessen Horowitz, with $35 billion in assets under management, has backed successful companies including Airbnb, Coinbase, Facebook and Slack, and has nearly 100 AI-related startups in its portfolio.

According to the report, Andreessen Horowitz and Al-Rumayyan have discussed the possibility of the US firm setting up an office in Riyadh.

According to the report, more VC players could participate in the AI fund, which is expected to kick off by H2 2024.

The report also said that Saudi representatives have shown interest with VC participants in supporting a variety of technology startups associated with AI, including chip makers and large-scale data centers.

The Innovation By Design Summit is in Doha on April 24. Attendance at the summit is by invitation only. Delegates can register here to receive their exclusive invite.

More Top Stories: