Daily Markup #1023: Vishal shares how 500 Global spots trends like artificial intelligence early, and where we see investment opportunities globally

Photo credit: e27

Funding the future

  • At the sidelines of SuperAI 2024 – where 125 speakers and 5000+ attendees across 94 countries gathered in Singapore to understand the latest trends in artificial intelligence (AI) – Vishal Harnal, Global Managing Partner at 500 Global, catches up with Anisa from e27 to share how 500 Global spots trends like AI and invests in them early.
  • “We think about where the world will be in the next five to ten years, the main drivers of value, what consumers will want, and the way we live, work and play. We identify and invest in technological trends that are hard for the mind to comprehend today, but that we believe will drive the global economy in the future,” said Vishal. 
  • 500 Global has been looking into AI since 2009 when it was thought about more from the perspective of ‘machine learning’ and ‘automation’, before it became mainstream with ChatGPT in 2022.
  • Today, 500 Global sees AI opportunities in three main areas: infrastructure/model building, tooling, and applications. The area we invest in depends on the strength of the markets, and ‘Applications’ is where we see investment opportunities globally. 
  • “We look for companies that use AI non-trivially to significantly optimize how they run their business, such as lowering costs or increasing productivity. With AI, what you need to scale changes phenomenally. Even for companies in SEA, AI can allow early-stage founders to punch above their weight,” Vishal shared.
  • But it’s not just about looking out for AI companies. “The thinking needs to shift,” he said. “Think about AI as a technology layer that everyone will adopt. We are doubling down on startups building specialized AI applications for specific industry verticals such as agriculture, healthcare, finance, and more.
  • Read the full interview on e27.

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