Visa to Invest $100M in Generative AI Firms

Published 9 months ago

Visa has unveiled plans to invest $100 million in companies that are developing generative artificial intelligence (AI) technologies and applications. These innovations are anticipated to revolutionize the future of commerce and payments. The investments will be channeled via Visa Ventures, the 16-year-old global corporate investment arm of the leading card company.

Visa has been recognized as a pioneer in employing AI in payments since 1993. Generative AI, a burgeoning subset of AI, utilizes extensive data sets to create text, images, or other content from text prompts.

The Potential of Generative AI

Jack Forestell, Chief Product and Strategy Officer of Visa, expressed the company’s high expectations for generative AI in a written statement. Forestell acknowledged that while generative AI has primarily been used in task and content creation, it will soon redefine how people live and work. More importantly, it is set to significantly alter commerce in ways that need to be comprehended.

David Rolf, Head of Visa Ventures, shared Forestell’s enthusiasm for the potential of generative AI. He described the technology as likely to be “one of the most transformative technologies of our time.”

Flexibility in Investment Strategy

Rolf communicated to TechCrunch that Visa Ventures has considerable flexibility concerning the number of investments it will make from the new fund and the average check size. Given the industry’s early stage, Rolf stated that they anticipate making a range of smaller investments amounting to a few million dollars. However, the ability to make larger investments exists if there is a strong rationale to do so.

Criteria for Investments

Rolf outlined that Visa is particularly interested in backing companies that use generative AI to address real problems in commerce, payments, and fintech. This includes B2B processes around payments and infrastructure that can significantly impact commerce. They are interested in companies at various levels of the stack, from data organization for generative AI to the experiences that users will have at work or in their personal lives.