This is a quick follow-up to our story this morning reporting that Samsung’s NEXT group is putting together an AI-focused investing effort.
The new vehicle, called Q Fund, has already made investments and will deploy capital from the $150 million Samsung NEXT Fund, meaning that we know its maximum scale. During a meeting between Q Fund leaders Vincent Tang, Ajay Singh, and a few members of the press, I learned a few more things about the fund worth sharing.
- Q Fund is happy to invest in companies with long time horizons. With a focus on investing in startups that may solve “foundational problems,” per Tang, the group is comfortable putting money to work in companies that may have extended routes to liquidity.
- The fund is looking to invest in startups while they are very early. The duo noted that Samsung NEXT’s efforts have focused on the early side of venture work, and Q Fund might deploy capital into even earlier-stage companies.
- This willingness to invest early—and here I am paraphrasing notes and our conversation—is predicated on the pair’s belief that applied AI (not, to be clear, what is sometimes hand-waved as AI) is not yet market-ready. So there’s a chance to invest in early-stage companies still solving big questions. If one of those manages a breakthrough, Q, its parent NEXT, and Samsung will probably come out in the black.
Q Fund does not intend to invest in academic-style research. Instead, it will invest in companies that land somewhere between academia and traditional early-stage investments.
This is all chat and the like until Q Fund has made more investments.