Saudi Arabia reveals $40 billion AI fund with Silicon Valley partner

Riyadh unveils plans for a groundbreaking AI investment fund, poised to reshape global tech landscapes and assert the nation’s economic diversification ambitions.

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Saudi Arabia plans to create a massive $40 billion fund for investing in AI technology. The initiative aims to position the country as a major player in the rapidly growing AI market, which is already transforming various aspects of life and work globally.

Discussions have occurred between Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund and potential partners like Andreessen Horowitz, a leading venture capital firm in Silicon Valley, indicating the seriousness of the endeavour.

If realised, this fund would make Saudi Arabia the largest investor in AI worldwide, reflecting the nation’s ambitions for global business leadership and economic diversification. Leveraging its significant sovereign wealth fund, which exceeds $900 billion in assets, Saudi Arabia aims to drive innovation and establish itself as a key player in geopolitics beyond its traditional oil-based economy.

Moreover, the country intends to back various AI-related ventures, including chip makers and data centres, which are essential for powering next-generation computing, considering even starting its own AI companies.

The fund’s establishment, expected to gain momentum in the second half of 2024, could position Saudi Arabia and its partners as major stakeholders in the evolving AI landscape.

Why does it matter?

Despite past controversies and challenges in technology investments, Saudi Arabia’s recent initiatives signal renewed Silicon Valley and Wall Street interest. Moves by the Public Investment Fund are closely monitored internationally, reflecting the country’s growing influence in global business.

Unlike past setbacks, including the fallout from the Jamal Khashoggi incident, Saudi Arabia’s strategic investments and partnerships demonstrate its determination to become a prominent player in shaping the future of technology and investment.