Microsoft’s huge purchase of health tech AI company Nuance extended the technology news cycle this week. The $19.7 billion transaction is Microsoft’s second-largest to date, only overpowered by its buy of LinkedIn some years ago.
For the AI space, the sale is a coup. Nuance was already a public fellowship, but to see Microsoft offer a conglomerate premium over its public-market value displays the appraise that AI technology can have to wealthy companies. For startups working in the AI space, the Nuance deal is good news; the value of AI revenue was repriced by the acquisition’s announcement — and for the better.
In light of the megadeal, The Exchange dug into the AI venture capital market. What’s happening on the startup side of the copper in the artificial intelligence and machine learning( AI/ ML) space?
To get a handle on the situation, we’ve compiled Q1 2021 and historical venture capital investment data via PitchBook, spoken to an active venture capitalist with a focus on AI-powered startups, and hear from a couple of startups recently featured on CB Insights’ list of guiding AI upstarts for their take over the recent news.
This morning, we’ll start with a look into recent venture capital activity in the AI/ ML market and its historic context. Then we’ll talk to Zetta Ventures’ Jocelyn Goldfein and a few corporations in the AI space. Let’s exit!
A venture capital rush
According to historic data compiled by PitchBook, venture capital investment into U.S.-based, AI-focused startups is enjoying a strong start to the year. Per the group’s provided dataset, from the very beginning of 2021 through April 12, or the first 101 dates of the year, 442 lots in the room were worth $11.65 billion.
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