Venture capitalists from Kleiner Perkins, Mamoon Hamid, and Ilya Fushman, opened up to TechCrunch about how AI has become a central issue in funding pitches. This is unsurprising as markets for AI Chips and software, as reported last year, are expected to see massive growth through the end of the decade.
So they were asked a specific number of how much is AI a part of the pitch of start-up ideas in a given month, and it was pretty staggering. “From a percentage standpoint, I’d say more than 80%,” Hamid.
But he added a caveat. “To be fair, if you were building a company in 1996 and you didn’t mention the internet, you’d be out of your mind, right?”. Continuing, “In the same vein, not mentioning AI or utilizing it would be a missed opportunity.”.
To that, Ilya Fushman added that many of the AI companies the firm backs are outfits that are “taking a big problem space that a company can and should own.”. He went on to say, “Enterprise assistant, for example, that’s a big space, and the people who figure that out first are going to be the people who move the fastest,”.
Fushman continued and used the mobile phone revolution of the past to decide a major difference between now and then. In short, he said unless the startup/company puts out a product that’s “just flying off the shelves.”, free distribution isn’t going to happen.
He went on to say, “AI requires distribution and it requires data to improve the product experience, so the first movers who define a category of a product can, in our view, run much faster than anyone else,”.
The comments from Mamoon Hamid, and Ilya Fushman come as tech companies continue to invest heavily in AI. This includes big names such as Meta. Last week, CEO Mark Zuckerberg expressed optimism that Meta’s AI investments will pay off in the long run.
During Meta’s earnings call, Zuckerberg mentioned that a leaner business model has contributed to the company’s goal of the most popular and most advanced AI products and services for the 3 billion-plus people using its messaging apps.
He said, “If we succeed, everyone who uses our services will have a world-class AI assistant to help get things done,…Every creator will have an AI that their community can engage with. Every business will have an AI that their customers can interact with to buy goods and get support, and every developer will have a state-of-the-art open-source model to build with.”.
It’s clear that AI will continue to not only scale across industries, but investment in the technology will continue to grow as what it can do for each specific domain is yet to be discovered.