“The companies we go for are a higher valuation, generally $5 million and over … [so] we’re investing into companies that have existing traction, mature products, have enterprise customers around the world and we’re helping create programs suited to them.”
Boab’s first round of participants include Victorian companies Pi.Exchange, Plaetos and Strongroom AI, and Australian companies Daitum and Remi AI.
Boab directors include Dr Catriona Wallace, founder and CEO of Ethical AI Advisory, Rosyln Hames COO of Clear Dynamics as well as Tim Heasley and Matthew Clunies-Ross, both managing partners at Artesian.
Artesian has already become one of the country’s biggest supporters of early-stage AI companies, with 40 in its portfolio already.
Artesian estimates there are more than 300 AI start-ups in Australia.
The $100 million fund, which is yet to be raised, will support up to 150 AI companies across the Asia Pacific.
“We’ve invested heavily in verticals such as agtech and clean energy. However, AI is interesting in that it has applications across all industries. If the Australian economy is to remain competitive, we need the local capability to create new AI-driven innovations that help to generate economic advantage,” Artesian chief executive Jeremy Colless said.
LaunchVic CEO Kate Cornick said it was pivotal for start-ups to have the right mentorship and investment to be successful.
“This funding will also help position Victoria as a leading destination for AI within the Asia Pacific region, attracting and developing the best talent, investment and AI expertise,” she said.
In November LaunchVic was awarded another $40 million over four years as part of the state budget.
“We are backing Victoria to be a world-leading innovation ecosystem, and this funding will help us attract and develop the best talent, investment and artificial intelligence expertise,” Victorian innovation, medical research and digital economy minister Jaala Pulford said.