- Visa announces a $100 million initiative to invest in companies that develop generative AI technologies and applications.
- Visa Ventures will manage the investment, which aims to support innovation in payments and commerce.
- Visa has a history of pioneering AI technology in payments, including AI-based fraud management and AI-based services for financial institutions.
Global digital payment giant Visa has announced the launch of a $100 million investment initiative for generative AI companies developing technologies that will shape the future of commerce and payments. Visa Ventures, the company’s corporate investment arm, will administer the funds.
Previously, the most popular startups were those dealing in knowledge management, AI assistants, task execution, and content production. They also had the highest investment, with an estimated $2.7 billion in equity funding during the third quarter of 2018. Visa, on the other hand, sees great potential for generative AI in payments.
Jack Forestell, Visa Inc.’s chief product and strategy officer, stated that generative AI has a promising future in finance. He says, “While much of generative AI so far has been focused on tasks and content creation, this technology will soon not only reshape how we live and work, but it will also meaningfully change commerce in ways we need to understand.”
David Rolf, Head of Visa Ventures, also stated: “We are excited to expand our focus to invest in some of the most innovative and disruptive venture-backed startups building across generative AI, commerce, and payments.”
What Startups Should Expect
Mr. Rolf stated that the funding will be rather flexible. This flexibility will affect the average cheque size and the number of investments the finding project supports. As a result, he anticipates that the firm will make minor investments of a few million dollars in each picked startup. He noted that the sector is still in its early phases.
According to CB Insights, 78% of generative AI businesses are in their early stages and have not yet secured equity funding. However, he stated that the firm will be able to invest more significant sums “where there is a strong rationale to do so.”
Investments in Generative AI Startups Have Reached All-Time Highs
Meanwhile, 2023 is proving to be a record year for generative AI startup financing. Over 86 deals had been completed at the end of Q’2, totaling more than $14.1 billion in equity capital.
According to CB Insights, ChatGPT creator OpenAI is the most equity-rich AI business, with a $10 billion corporate minority round. OpenAI is closely followed by Inflection, Anthropic, and Adept, who raised $1.3B, $850M, and $350M in equity, respectively. Cohere has completed a $270 million Series C round.