Google launched today a venture capital fund, named Gradient Ventures, that will focus on early-stage AI startups.
Gradient’s site says the new fund aims to “invest in and connect startups with Google’s resources, innovation, and technical leadership in AI.”
“Many members of our team are engineers, so we’re familiar with the journey from big idea to product launch,” Gradient managing partner Anna Patterson wrote in a blog post. “The goal is to help our portfolio companies overcome engineering challenges to create products that will apply artificial intelligence to today’s challenges and those we’ll face in the future.”
Gradient currently lists four companies in its portfolio, including Algorithmia, a marketplace for algorithms and functions, and Cogniac, a suite of tools used to create and manage visual models.
In May, Axios reported that Google would set up an AI-focused program. Google will take a minority stake in the startups it invests in, putting between $1 million and $8 million into each company. Gradient plans investments in 10 to 15 deals this year, according to CNBC.