Element AI launches $45m fund with SKT, Hyundai and Hanwha

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Element AI announced it has established a joint $45 million fund with SK Telecom, Hyundai Motor Company, and Hanwha that will target emerging AI-based technologies including autonomous vehicles, household robots, manufacturing, drones, and hardware.

The alliance aims to accelerate open AI innovation in Korea and support global AI startups. The fund will be actively managed by the three Korean companies with investment advisory by Element AI.

The fund will be established in the first quarter of next year. It will invest in startups specialized in artificial intelligence, smart mobility and FinTech in Europe, Israel and the United States. Capital will be deployed to leading AI companies over the next 36 months.

“Infusing large companies with artificial intelligence capabilities is the future of global industrialization,” said Element AI CEO Jean-François Gagné. “Our position in the marketplace gives us extraordinary access to the most cutting-edge technologies being developed today – all we need are partners and capital commitment to seed the future and that’s what we’re achieving today with this announcement.”

“No single company holds the key to the future and this why Hyundai Motor is pursuing such an alliance under the ‘open innovation’ philosophy,” said Dr. Youngcho Chi, chief innovation officer and head of Hyundai’s Strategy & Technology Division. “We are pleased to join this great collaboration project with passionate partners who know their space.”

Hanwha Asset Management will look to create synergies for its portfolio companies, increase the firm’s footprint among global start-ups, and strengthen the firm’s internal capabilities in assessing innovative technologies and originating new investments. Also, the partnership will allow Hanwha Asset Management to closely evaluate the latest FinTech innovations.

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