Samsung NEXT launches Q Fund to invest in AI startups

The logo of Samsung Electronics is seen at its office building in Seoul, South Korea, August 25, 2017. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji

Samsung NEXT (formerly Samsung Global Innovation Centre) is increasing its investments in artificial intelligence, through the launch of Samsung NEXT Q Fund, a dedicated early-stage venture fund for AI startups.

In the announcement, Samsung NEXT said, the Q Fund will provide seed and Series A financing to startups using AI to solve computer science problems.

“For the past ten years, we’ve watched software eat the world. Now, it’s AI’s turn to eat software. We’re launching Q Fund to support the next generation of AI startups who look to scratch beyond the surface of what we know today,” said Samsung NEXT Ventures principal, Vincent Tang.

Q Fund, which does not have an allocated fund size, will be investing from Samsung’s $150 million NEXT fund, launched last year. It has already made investments in Covariant.AI, a machine learning startup and Vicarious, an AI robotics startup.

These two investments add on to the existing eight AI investments made by Samsung NEXT in the past few four years.

Problem spaces Q Fund will examine could learning in simulation, scene understanding, intuitive physics, program learning programs, robot control, human computer interaction and meta learning.

Samsung NEXT Ventures director Ajay Singh said: “There are multiple approaches to building fundamental AI technology. And we want to invest in the people and teams who will try new approaches to lay the groundwork for what AI will be. For this reason, Q Fund will prioritize technical diligence over revenue models.”

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.