Saudi Arabia’s $40B Big Push Into AI, Aims To Partner With VC Powerhouse a16z

There have been talks of Saudi Arabia’s government driving towards investing more in initiatives around Artificial Intelligence in 2024.

This drive includes creating a $40 B investment fund to launch in the second half of 2024 that centers around AI ventures, such as mega-size data centers and chip makers.

The fund will be sourced through the KSA Sovereign Wealth fund, which is estimated to be around $900 Billion in total.

There are also discussions of a potential partnership with venture capital powerhouse Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), Silicon Valley’s premier venture capital firm, with names like Facebook, Lyft, Airbnb, and Slack under its wings.

The potential partnership involves the VC setting up an office in Riyadh and will be primarily focused on AI related verticals. This comes as part of Saudi Arabia’s push to position itself as a leader in AI space in the region and globally.

This isn’t Saudi’s first push into technology, as Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman unveiled in 2023 a new strategy for King Abdullah University of Science & Technology (KAUST).

The new strategy aims to transform science and research into economically profitable innovations and involved the announcement of creation of a $200 million fund to invest in local and international firms specializing in advanced technology.

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