Generative Data Intelligence

Saudi Arabia To Establish A $40 Billion AI Investment Fund


Saudi Arabia plans a $40B AI investment, potentially becoming the industry’s largest investor, with talks of a partnership with a16z.

According to reports, in recent weeks, representatives of Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) have talked about a possible collaboration with American venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz and other financiers.

The investment fund is overseen by a16z

The AI fund may see participation from other venture capitalists, and the a16z partnership may see the establishment of an office in Riyadh, the capital city.

According to the Times, Ben Horowitz, one of a16z’s founders, is friendly with Yasir Al-Rumayyan, the fund’s governor.

Saudi Arabia would become the biggest investor in the AI industry if the $40 billion deal is approved. The plans may still change, but according to two of the three familiar parties that the Times cited, the fund could be introduced in the second half of 2024.

Also read: What Does the EU’s AI Act Mean for Startups?

In contrast, Microsoft has invested a total of $13 billion in ChatGPT creator OpenAI over a number of years; this amount is less than half of the proposed fund from Saudi Arabia.

The $900 billion sovereign wealth fund of the Kingdom will be the source of Saudi Arabia’s AI fund, which will be used to invest in chip manufacturers and sizable data centers that can power AI technology.

It has even thought of launching its artificial intelligence firms. At least since April 2023, there have been talks about a possible collaboration between Saudi Arabia and a16z.

In an April 2023 interview with former WeWork CEO Adam Neumann, Horowitz lauded Saudi Arabia as a “startup country” and hinted that the US is beginning to lose ground in the startup scene.

AI in Saudi Arabia

According to the report, PIF officials talked about the potential role of Andreessen Horowitz and the operation of such a fund, though they added that things could still change.

The report also stated that Saudi officials had told prospective partners that their nation is keen to fund a range of AI-related start-ups, such as chip manufacturers and massive data centers.

Citing the kingdom’s energy resources and funding capacity, PIF’s Al-Rumayyan proposed the country as a potential hub for artificial intelligence activity outside of the United States last month.

Al-Rumayyan stated that the kingdom had sufficient resources to support the advancement of artificial intelligence and the “political will” to see projects through to completion.

Corporate investment in AI has been rising dramatically on a global scale, but Saudi Arabia’s massive investment would establish it as a major player in the field. Additionally, it would achieve the kingdom’s overarching objectives of strengthening its geopolitical influence and differentiating its domestic business models, which are now predominately centered on oil.

The Middle Eastern country is working towards these objectives through its sovereign wealth fund.

In October of last year, US President Joe Biden signed an executive order establishing new safety regulations for AI, and 15 of the top AI companies pledged to comply.

Using the Defence Production Act to compel AI companies to submit “vital information,” such as the outcomes of AI safety tests, to the Department of Commerce is one of the recently enacted measures.


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