Business News

Visa to invest $100 million in generative AI startups 

Card payment company, Visa, has announced a new $100 million generative AI ventures initiative to invest in the next generation of companies focused on developing generative AI technologies and applications that will impact the future of commerce and payments. 

Visa said the initiative is an extension of the company’s leadership in AI use to drive innovation in payments, create value for partners and clients, and enable and empower global commerce.

The initiative will be led by Visa Ventures, the global corporate investment arm of Visa, which it claims has been investing in and partnering with companies driving innovation in payments and commerce since 2007. 

Generative AI, like the popular OpenAI’s ChatGPT, is an emerging subset of AI that is built on Large Language Models (LLMs) to develop artificial general intelligence capable of generating text, images, or other content from large sets of existing data when given prompts. 

Commenting on the initiative via a statement issued by the company, Chief Product and Strategy Officer, Visa Inc. Jack Forestell, said:  

Visa’s announcement came as the latest in the series of investments in AI that are being announced by global tech giants. About a week ago, Amazon announced plans to invest up to $4 billion in the AI startup Anthropic.  

The e-commerce group said it will initially invest $1.25 billion for a minority stake in Anthropic, which like Google’s Bard and Microsoft-backed OpenAI also operates an AI-powered, text-analyzing chatbot. As part of the deal, Amazon said it has the option to increase its investment in Anthropic to a total of $4 billion. 

Earlier this year, Microsoft extended its partnership with OpenAI, the maker of the revolutionary ChatGPT tool. The partnership came with a commitment to invest multi-billion dollars in the AI company.

Microsoft had already invested more than $3 billion in OpenAI, and the partnership extension was a clear indication of the importance of OpenAI’s technology to the future of Microsoft and its competition with other big tech companies like Google, Meta, and Apple.