Saudi Arabia Announces New $40B AI Fund

ODSC - Open Data Science
3 min readMar 21, 2024

Hoping to position itself at the forefront of AI, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has announced its intentions to establish a monumental $40 billion AI fund. As reported by the New York Times, the fund would focus on investments in the emerging tech field.

This is an ambitious plan, that underscores the nation’s commitment to reducing its reliance on fossil fuel revenue by becoming a leading hub for artificial intelligence and technology innovation. Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) is at the helm of this initiative.

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In recent discussions, PIF representatives have explored potential collaborations with top U.S. venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, among other notable financiers. A focal point of these discussions has been the possibility of Andreessen Horowitz establishing a presence in Riyadh, signaling the kingdom’s attractiveness as a burgeoning center for technological advancement.

The conversations have delved into the operational dynamics of such a fund and the roles partners like Andreessen Horowitz could play in realizing this vision. While the plans are still subject to evolution, the direction is clear: Saudi Arabia is serious about staking its claim in the AI domain.

The initiative is not limited to partnerships with venture capital firms. Saudi representatives have conveyed a broad interest in supporting various tech startups, particularly those involved in artificial intelligence, chip manufacturing, and large-scale data centers. This comprehensive approach indicates the kingdom’s ambition to nurture a diverse technological ecosystem.

The fund, expected to kick off in the second half of 2024, could also see participation from other venture capitalists, further expanding its reach and impact. This venture underscores Saudi Arabia’s strategic pivot towards technology and innovation, leveraging its substantial energy resources and financial capabilities.

PIF’s governor, Yasir Al-Rumayyan, has been vocal about Saudi Arabia’s potential as a global AI powerhouse. Citing the kingdom’s “political will” and ample financial resources, Al-Rumayyan’s comments reflect a determined effort to make Saudi Arabia a significant player in the artificial intelligence arena.

As the plans for this AI fund develop, the global tech community is likely to watch closely. Other nations such as the UAE, are eyeing to becoming the center of AI development in the Middle East.

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