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April 29, 2024

PremjiInvest to Bolster AI Investments, Targets $10 Billion Fund Growth

PremjiInvest, the prominent Indian family office overseeing a staggering $10 billion under the stewardship of software magnate Azim Premji, is gearing up to inject more capital into artificial intelligence ventures. The move comes as the company sharpens its proprietary AI investment tools, aiming to further enhance its market position.

TK Kurien, managing partner and chief investment officer at PremjiInvest, disclosed in his first interview since assuming the role in 2017 that the firm is doubling down on AI investments, both in private equity and public markets. Recognized as one of the first major Indian asset managers to integrate AI tools into its operations, PremjiInvest has been developing an AI quant model for its public market endeavors.

The company’s foray into AI began three years ago, accompanied by the recruitment of 14 AI engineers. This initiative coincided with its backing of firms venturing into the nascent AI technology space. Leveraging AI, PremjiInvest is now capable of evaluating over 10,000 companies worldwide based on 600 parameters, facilitating the identification of lucrative investment opportunities while gaining insights into emerging technologies and trends.

PremjiInvest’s portfolio includes investments in notable AI-driven companies such as Cohesity Inc., a data-management software company, and Holistic AI, an enterprise software business based in London, among others. Looking forward, Kurien plans to open access to some of the firm’s AI tools for open-source developers.

Furthermore, PremjiInvest is actively developing platforms to expedite case resolution in India’s courts and improve government services, demonstrating its commitment to technological innovation beyond traditional investment avenues.

In terms of investment strategy, Kurien outlined that technology and financial services will remain the firm’s top sectors of focus, supplemented by consumer and healthcare investments in India and healthcare and technology sectors in the US.

Founded by Azim Premji in 2006 as a perpetual investment vehicle to support his philanthropic endeavors, PremjiInvest channels a portion of its returns to Premji’s humanitarian causes in India. Kurien, with over 16 years of experience at Wipro, is spearheading efforts to scout for cutting-edge technologies in the US that can be introduced to India.

PremjiInvest’s 120-member team operates from offices in Menlo Park, California, and Bengaluru, India, overseeing a diversified portfolio comprising private investments, publicly traded equities, and investments in other funds. Despite a fourfold surge in assets under management over the last eight years, the firm remains committed to its patient capital philosophy without setting an exit timeframe.

With its renewed focus on AI investments and its track record of success, PremjiInvest is poised to further solidify its position as a key player in the global investment landscape while contributing to the advancement of AI technology and social development initiatives.

Jhumpa Lahiri

Jhumpa Lahiri

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