Just three months after setting up its generative artificial intelligence fund, Salesforce's corporate venture arm has added $250m as more corporates compete on startup deals.

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Image courtesy of Salesforce, Inc.

Enterprise software provider Salesforce doubled the size of its Generative AI Fund to $500m yesterday, just three months after its launch.

The move is a sign of how corporate venturers are increasingly committing cash to generative artificial intelligence, the most recent being Chinese internet group Baidu, which put more than $140m into its own generative AI fund two weeks ago.

“We are already seeing AI change the way the world works, and we’re excited to build on the momentum of our Generative AI Fund,” said Paul Drews, managing partner at Salesforce’s corporate venture arm, Salesforce Ventures, in a release.

“Expanding our Generative AI Fund enables us to work with even more entrepreneurs who are accelerating the development of transformative AI solutions for the enterprise, and we are excited to support the next generation of innovative founders.”

Salesforce Ventures announced the fund in March this year, providing an initial $250m and revealing four portfolio companies including Anthropic, which subsequently disclosed a $450m series C round last month, and natural language processing software developer Cohere, which raised $270m at a reported $2.1bn valuation last week.

The unit revealed two new investments yesterday, in autonomous go-to-market software developer Tribble and Humane, a stealth-stage generative AI startup that had raised a total of $240m as of March this year.

The expansion of the fund comes in the wake of fellow enterprise software producers Workday and ServiceNow increasing their own corporate VC allocations, with both citing AI as a key focus area.

There are other corporates who have formed generative AI funds this year, including mass media group Comcast, which used the technology for the first themed cohort of its Comcast NBCUniversal Lift Labs accelerator. OpenAI, the creator of AI chatbot ChatGPT, closed its corporate venture fund at over $175m last month.

Robert Lavine

Robert Lavine is special features editor for Global Venturing.