(Bloomberg) -- Salesforce Inc.’s venture capital arm is launching a $250 million fund, its largest to date, to invest in generative artificial intelligence startups.
Salesforce Ventures has previously invested in companies that have gone public including Zoom Video Communications Inc., Snowflake Inc. and DocuSign Inc. Such investments may become more important for the software company as large acquisitions appear to be off-the-table due to pressure from activist investors.
The fund will be focused on “nurturing the next generation of generative AI startups,” Clara Shih, chief executive officer of Salesforce’s service cloud, said in a briefing with reporters.
The San Francisco-based enterprise giant also on Tuesday unveiled new generative AI tools for functions such as drafting customer service responses or initial sales emails. Dubbed Einstein GPT, the new tools are integrated with OpenAI’s generative models.
After OpenAI’s ChatGPT gripped the technology industry’s imagination late last year, many large firms have sprinted to announce features taking advantage of artificial intelligence that generates content. Last month alone, Microsoft Corp. integrated OpenAI technology into the Bing search engine, Google announced its ChatGPT rival Bard, Meta Platforms Inc. released one of its large language models under an open source license, and Snapchat Inc. unveiled a generative tool for socializing.