Samsung appears to have made another massive bet on artificial intelligence (AI). The company recently announced that its Silicon Valley-based startup arm, Samsung NEXT, had unveiled a new fund intended for investing in early-stage startups. The fund will help solve AI issues and those that utilize artificial intelligence (AI) in solving computer science complications.
Although the Q fund created by Samsung NEXT does not have a cap, still falls under the company’s total $150 million investment fund. This new fund will invest only in both seed and series A investments, which make up the earliest stages in any startup’s operations. Even though Samsung NEXT’s fund managers are allowed to invest more money, such investments are a maximum of $1 million.
According to one of the Q Fund’s managers, Ajay Singh, Samsung NEXT aims at investing in both teams and individuals who will try out new techniques of setting up the groundwork for what artificial intelligence(AI) will become. In a meeting with reporters before the announcement, he also said that the eligible groups for investing include some riskier startups, which other venture capital firms may fail to consider.
As opposed to searching for companies that boast a well-laid out business plan, Samsung is looking forward to identifying startups that are working to solve complicated technical issues. The company plans to do so even without knowing how to profit from their provisions. Vincent Tang, another manager of the fund, told reports in a recent meeting that the businesses model becomes easy upon figuring out the solution for foundational issues in society.
The new Q fund serves as Samsung’s recent attempt to venture into artificial intelligence, which is an area that boasts the ability to transform the way human beings live and use technology. Currently, any person with a modern smartphone utilizes AI through Google’s Assistant or Apple’s Siri. Samsung also joined the market last year through its Bixby digital assistant, which allows you to control various devices including your refrigerator, TV or Galaxy smartphone.
Samsung has experienced a hard time in generating enthusiasm for most of its software products. The technology company relies on Google’s Android software to operate its wide array of tablets and smartphones. Its Tizen operating systems have also had challenges making a name for itself in the market. For now, the company has abandoned most of the services it developed including the Milk Video and Samsung Media Hub.
Samsung NEXT helps in attaining a better foothold in both services and software. The company collaborates and invests in startups that can assist Samsung shift from its focus on hardware. Furthermore, Samsung was behind leading Samsung’s acquisition of LoopPay, which offers the technology that supports the Samsung Pay mobile payments service.
Although Samsung has recently unveiled its Q Fund, it has already made about seven investments in AI such as in covariant.ai. Co-founded by the current Berkeley professor and former University of California students, the startup is creating artificial intelligence (AI) software that facilitates teaching robots new, sophisticated skills. According to Samsung, its investment in covariant.ai. demonstrates its interest in companies or startups that use learned systems to replace traditional data structures, algorithms and general purpose computer programs.