Visa to invest $100m in generative AI startups

Visa wants to be at the forefront of the next phase of generative AI (GenAI) innovation through investment in tech startups that will apply the technology to payments and commerce.

The financial services giant has launched a GenAI initiative that will see up to $100m invested in these startups.

Visa said a new wave of GenAI innovation will see the technology impact the financial services industry. “While much of generative AI so far has been focused on tasks and content creation, this technology will soon not only reshape how we live and work, but it will also meaningfully change commerce in ways we need to understand,” said Jack Forestell, chief product and strategy officer at Visa.

Visa Ventures, the company’s corporate investment arm launched in 2007, is behind the investment fund.

Its head, David Rolf, said GenAI has the potential to be one of the “most transformative technologies of our time”.

“We are excited to expand our focus to invest in some of the most innovative and disruptive venture-backed startups building across GenAI, commerce and payments,” he said.

Visa is not alone in backing the GenAI revolution. In June, Accenture said it will invest $3bn over three years in its data and AI practice.

Accenture has already established a company-wide team, the GenAI and large language lodel (LLM) centre of excellence. It has also published its A new era of generative AI for everyone study of generative AI/LLM, advising businesses on the use of the technology.

In March, Paul Daugherty, group chief executive of Accenture Technology, said IT leaders need to act fast if they are to achieve what GenAI promises.

“While generative AI will have a far-reaching impact, leaders must dive in now to achieve its full promise, as it will require significant investments in data, people and customising foundation models to meet organisations’ unique needs,” he said.

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