Visa Bets Big on Generative AI with $100M Ventures Fund

Visa announces a $100 million investment fund focused on generative AI startups that will transform commerce and payments.

In a bold stride towards the future of commerce and payments, Visa, a titan in the global payments industry, has unveiled a whopping $100 million initiative aimed at nurturing the burgeoning field of generative AI technologies and applications.

Announced on October 2, 2023, in San Francisco, the initiative, dubbed the Generative AI Ventures Initiative, is set to invest in the next wave of companies that are poised to sculpt the future landscape of commerce and payments through the innovative use of generative AI.

Generative AI, a subset of AI that leverages Large Language Models (LLMs) to create content such as text and images from extensive data sets, has been primarily focused on tasks and content creation thus far.

However, as Jack Forestell, Chief Product and Strategy Officer at Visa Inc., astutely points out, “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.”

Visa is no stranger to the realm of AI, having pioneered its use in payments since 1993. This new initiative is seen as an extension of Visa’s leadership in utilizing AI to spur innovation in payments, forge value for partners and clients, and facilitate and empower global commerce.

The initiative will be spearheaded by Visa Ventures, the corporate investment arm of Visa, which has been a catalyst for innovation in payments and commerce since 2007. David Rolf, Head of Visa Ventures, expressed enthusiasm about generative AI’s potential to be “one of the most transformative technologies of our time,” and is eager to invest in innovative startups that are building across generative AI, commerce, and payments.

Why should we care?

Visa’s $100 million Generative AI Ventures Initiative is not merely an investment in technology but an investment in the future of global commerce and payments. In a world that is rapidly digitizing, the applications of generative AI are boundless, from creating more secure payment methods to developing innovative commerce solutions that we have yet to imagine.

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