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Saudi Arabia to create $40bn AI fund

People, Person, Adult Formula One F1 - Saudi Arabian Grand Prix - Jeddah Corniche Circuit, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia - March 9, 2024 Chairman of Aramco's Board of Directors HE Yasir O. Al-Rumayyan is pictured on the grid before the race REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed Hamad I Mohammed/Reuters
PIF governor Yasir Al-Rumayyan has reportedly discussed setting up the AI fund with Andreessen Horowitz
  • PIF discusses AI partnerships
  • Possible role for Andreessen Horowitz
  • Fund to launch in second half of 2024

Saudi Arabia plans to create a $40 billion fund to invest in artificial intelligence, The New York Times reported on March 19, citing three sources briefed on the plans.

Officials of the kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund – the Public Investment Fund – have discussed a potential partnership with US venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz and other financiers, unnamed sources told the newspaper. 

Andreessen Horowitz and PIF governor Yasir Al-Rumayyan have reportedly also discussed the possibility of the US firm setting up an office in Riyadh.

PIF representatives have discussed what role Andreessen Horowitz could play and how this fund would work, the newspaper said, adding that the plans could still change.

Saudi officials have expressed interest in supporting chip makers and data centres that are increasingly necessary to power the next generation of computing, according to the report. They have even considered starting PIF’s own AI companies.

Other venture capitalists may participate in the fund, which is expected to launch in the second half of 2024, the newspaper said.

The fund could make the kingdom the world’s largest investor in artificial intelligence, highlighting its aspirations to diversify its economy beyond oil.

The kingdom is pursuing those goals through the sovereign wealth fund, which has assets of more than $900 billion.

Last month, Al-Rumayyan said that he expects the kingdom to emerge as a centre for artificial intelligence activities outside the US.

Highlighting Saudi Arabia’s “political will” to make AI projects happen, he said the country had ample funds to foster the technology’s development.

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