Google Launches Gradient Ventures to Target AI Startups

Google has launched a venture arm targeting artificial intelligence startups.

The new firm, dubbed Gradient Ventures, will bolster capital with access to mentors and bootcamps.

“AI-powered technology holds a lot of promise—from improving patient health to making data centers more efficient,” explains Anna Patterson, founder of Gradient. “But while we’ve seen some amazing applications of AI so far, we know there are many more out there that haven’t even been imagined yet. And sometimes, these new ideas need support to flourish.”

The goal of Gradient, says Patterson, is to help portfolio companies overcome engineering challenges to create products that will apply artificial intelligence to the challenges of today and tomorrow.

“Through AI, yesterday’s science fiction is becoming today’s nonfiction,” said Patterson. “There’s everything to reimagine as we usher in this new era of technology—and we’re excited to work with entrepreneurs to start building it.”

Gradient launched with a few portfolio companies already in tow, including Algorithmia, a marketplace for algorithms and functions, and Cogniac, a suite of tools used to create and manage visual models.

It’s small wonder why Google, a software company, is heavily investing in AI: businesses that successfully apply artificial intelligence could increase profitability by an average of 38% by 2035, according to a report from Accenture. Furthermore, the introduction of AI could lead to an economic boost of $14 trillion in additional gross value added across 16 industries in 12 economies.