Artificial intelligence

ServiceNow Invests In AI-Based Enterprise Startups With $1B Venture Commitment

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ServiceNow, a cloud infrastructure company based out of California, is diving into the AI arms race.

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The company announced on Wednesday it will put $1 billion into its venture firm, ServiceNow Ventures, to invest in artificial intelligence and automation companies targeting enterprise use cases. 

The venture arm, which started in 2015, has already invested $300 million in 45 companies. The new $1 billion is expected to arrive by 2026. 

The enterprise AI race

ServiceNow has been ramping up its AI efforts for a while now. It acquired Element AI for $500 million in 2020, marking its largest acquisition at the time. Last year, ServiceNow acquired AI-powered skills mapping tech platform Hitch Works.

Just yesterday, ServiceNow announced a partnership with Microsoft, which invested a whopping $13 billion into AI giant OpenAI. The company also unveiled a suite of generative AI tools for businesses including a generative AI controller, which connects ServiceNow to OpenAI’s API large language models. Its new search function allows users to search the entire company’s database through a Google-like platform. 

While generative AI platforms like ChatGPT and Midjourney have gripped everyday consumers, several companies are looking to be a first-mover in enterprise-grade generative AI. The Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence recently announced a $30 million fund to support AI startups focused on business applications. Meanwhile, hardware maker Nvidia has been working on a platform for businesses that would allow them to make industry-specific documents or diagrams using generative AI. 

To close out this web of AI partnerships, Nvidia is also partnering with ServiceNow. Using Nvidia’s software, ServiceNow is developing large language models (similar to the ones that power ChatGPT) that can be used by IT teams, customer service departments and developers.

While private market dealmaking has been relatively slow, investments in AI have been active. In January, a third of all funding went to OpenAI’s $10 billion funding round led by Microsoft. 

Illustration: Dom Guzman

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