The integration of Artificial Intelligence and deep sector-specific knowledge is believed to accelerate the success of next-generation companies. Notably, there are several companies that deploy the use of AI across industries. The AI-focused venture capital firm Air Street Capital focuses on these startups and helps them grow with its investment.
Pockets €14.6M fund
In a recent development, Air Street Capital has announced that it has secured €14.6M funding targeted at the early-stage founders in both Europe and the US. Its focus is on companies that combine deep tech expertise and AI. The investment was led by Nathan Benaich, Air Street Capital’s founder and general partner.
The fund will draw on a deep bench of AI-native operating partners who have developed their careers in the initial stages of AI-first software. The operating partners include Phil Keslin (Niantic), Julien Cornebise and Gabriel Dulac-Arnold (Google Research, DeepMind), Gaile Gordon (TYZX, acquired by Intel), and Jan Erik Solem (Facebook, Mapillary). The VC firm’s current investments include Allcyte, Anagenex, Graphcore, Intenseye, LabGenius, Mission Barns, and V7 Labs, and ZOE.
Prior to the debut of Air Street Capital in 2019 in London, its founder launched RAAIS and London.AI, which connected AI practitioners from large companies, academia and startups. Benaich’s other investments in the past include Mapillary – which was acquired by Facebook – LabGenius, Tractable, Thought Machine, Numerai, Ravelin, Starship, fintech giant Stripe, and Jukedeck – acquired by ByteDance.
Benaich is also the c-author of the annual State of AI Report, along with Ian Hogarth – cofounder and Chairman of Songkick and an angel investor. This report analyses the interesting developments in AI and aims to trigger an informed conversation about the state of AI and its implication for the future.
Focus on early partnerships
Air Street Capital believes that investing and supporting AI-native founders at the seed stage is crucial in Europe. There are relatively fewer specialist investors in Europe than the US. Usually, the investors across the world are focusing on European AI companies that are in their later stages.
“We believe there is enormous value to be created from early partnerships. From Facebook’s acquisition of Mapillary 6 years after our team’s Seed investment in 2014, to Sequoia’s investment into Air Street-backed Graphcore, international investors are taking notice of European AI companies at the later stages,” Benaich says in a blog post.
“At Air Street Capital, we specialise in identifying high-potential opportunities early on, and we work closely with our founders to iterate through product, market and technology strategy from day 1 through to Series A and beyond,” he adds.
Main image picture credits: Air Street Capital