The Leading VC Firm Focused on AI
Zetta Venture Partners, the first firm exclusively focused on AI, announced a $180 million fund to invest in more AI-first companies. Building on the success of its previous two funds, Zetta’s third fund brings the firm’s total assets under management to $365 million.
Zetta was founded in 2013 – the first year a zettabyte of data went across the internet – to catalyze the next generation of companies. They believe the case for building AI companies has never been more compelling: “AI has largely been about augmenting and automating human labor,” said Mark Gorenberg, founder and managing director of Zetta Venture Partners. “But the next wave of AI is about creating and understanding complex systems such as the environment, human biology, cybersecurity and the global economy.”
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Artificial intelligence is making major contributions in the COVID-19 crisis, directly tackling the disease with new treatments and enabling businesses to operate while people shelter in place. Zetta company Domino Data Lab is helping pharmaceutical companies power their data science teams seeking vaccines, while Invenia is keeping the electrical grid stable, and Myia is helping physicians remotely monitor patients. Meanwhile, Zetta pioneers like FollowAnalytics, Constructor, Tractable and Lilt are all helping businesses move their operations online, and companies such as Opsani are helping businesses manage the skyrocketing infrastructure costs that come with that shift.
“So many people are feeling pessimistic about the future right now,” said Jocelyn Goldfein, managing director at Zetta. “Those concerns should motivate us to work harder to invent new solutions and build resilience into our systems, whether that’s health care, disaster response, environmental protection or economic safety nets. These problems look like opportunities to great entrepreneurs, and we are grateful to have the chance to provide the earliest support to the founders who are rising to the challenge with innovative ideas.”
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Zetta is usually the first investor in a startup, committing $1 million to $3 million when a company has some predictive models to get its first customers. “We help companies solve the specific challenges of building an AI-first company, such as gathering data, building machine learning teams and marketing the value of predictive systems,” said Ash Fontana, managing director of Zetta Venture Partners.
“We decided to team with Zetta because of their unique expertise navigating the challenges of bringing AI to market,” said Ross Schibler, founder and CEO of Opsani. “The team at Zetta is insightful, motivated, well-connected and well-respected. They look at things from the entrepreneur’s perspective. Zetta is a superb partner in building a great technology company.”
“As an AI-focused fund, Zetta understood our business and community at a deep level,” said Anthony Goldbloom, co-founder and CEO of Kaggle. “They helped us navigate big decisions ranging from building the business and raising capital through to our acquisition by Google.”
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