Unleashing the Future: Investing in Companies Pioneering the AI Movement

Introduction: In the ever-evolving landscape of technology, Artificial Intelligence (AI) stands out as a revolutionary force reshaping industries and societies. As AI continues to advance, savvy investors are looking for opportunities to capitalize on this transformative movement. In this blog post, we will explore the potential of investing in companies that are at the forefront of the AI revolution, delving into specific technologies that set them apart.

  1. Natural Language Processing (NLP): One of the key areas driving the AI movement is Natural Language Processing. Companies that excel in NLP are creating applications that can understand, interpret, and generate human-like language. Investing in firms leading the charge in NLP can open doors to applications such as chatbots, language translation, and sentiment analysis. Notable companies in this space include OpenAI, known for its advanced language model, GPT-3, and companies developing conversational AI solutions.
  2. Computer Vision: The ability of machines to interpret and understand visual information is another game-changer. Companies pioneering in computer vision are developing technologies that enable machines to analyze and make decisions based on visual data. This has vast applications across industries, from healthcare (medical imaging) to autonomous vehicles. Investors may consider companies like NVIDIA, a leader in graphics processing units (GPUs) that are essential for advanced computer vision applications.
  3. Reinforcement Learning: Reinforcement Learning is a subset of machine learning where algorithms learn to make decisions by interacting with their environment. Companies specializing in reinforcement learning are making strides in creating autonomous systems capable of decision-making in dynamic environments. Look for investment opportunities in companies like DeepMind, an AI research lab known for its breakthroughs in reinforcement learning.
  4. Edge Computing for AI: As AI applications become more pervasive, there is a growing need to process data closer to the source (at the edge) to reduce latency and improve efficiency. Investing in companies developing edge computing solutions for AI can be lucrative. Examples include companies providing edge AI chips or platforms that enable AI processing on devices like smartphones and IoT devices.
  5. AI in Healthcare: The healthcare sector is witnessing a significant impact from AI technologies. Companies leveraging AI for diagnostics, drug discovery, and personalized medicine are gaining attention. Investors interested in the intersection of AI and healthcare may explore opportunities with companies like IBM Watson Health or startups focusing on innovative AI applications in the medical field.

Conclusion: Investing in companies at the forefront of the AI movement requires a strategic approach. By understanding the specific technologies that drive AI innovation, investors can identify promising opportunities for growth. Whether it’s Natural Language Processing, Computer Vision, Reinforcement Learning, Edge Computing, or AI in Healthcare, the companies leading in these domains are paving the way for a future powered by artificial intelligence. As with any investment, thorough research and a long-term perspective are key to navigating the dynamic landscape of AI innovation.

Priya Saiprasad
Co-Founder and General Partner

San Francisco, CA

Priya is a General Partner at Touring Capital.

Priya co-founded Touring after 13 years in venture capital, M&A and enterprise technology. She was most recently a Partner at SoftBank Vision Fund, where she led investments into category-defining software companies including Pixis, Vendr, Observe.ai, CommerceIQ, Sendoso and Skedulo. Previously, Priya was at Mayfield Fund focused on early-growth investments, and a founding member of M12 (Microsoft’s Venture Fund), where she led investments in Go1, Workboard, PandaDoc, Element AI (acquired by ServiceNow), and Bonsai (acquired by Microsoft). Prior to that, she was a Deal Lead in Square’s M&A team leading acquisitions at the intersection of software and machine learning.

Priya was recognized by Forbes in 2018 as part of their 30 under 30 in Venture Capital list. She is actively involved with All Raise, Neythri, and several prominent Women in Tech associations. Priya holds a B.S. in Business Administration from the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley.

As a kid, Priya moved across 12 different countries before she turned 12 and has since developed a deep appreciation for entrepreneurs who are scrappy, highly adaptable, and voracious learners. In her free time, Priya is a passionate foodie with a penchant for sushi, a reformer Pilates instructor (to combat all the eating), and a proud mom of Gandalf, Katniss & Jax, two furry felines and a quick-witted pup!

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Carol Yi
Business Manager, Founding Member

San Francisco, CA

Carol is Business Manager at Touring Capital, where she manages team operations and supports the fund’s general partners.

Prior to joining Touring, she spent 15 years at Microsoft and SoftBank Vision Fund, supporting various business functions and senior executives spanning Engineering, Marketing, Communications, and Venture Capital. Carol is a graduate of Guangdong University of Foreign Studies.

Originally from Guangzhou, China, Carol is fluent in English, Mandarin and Cantonese.

Outside of Touring, Carol enjoys traveling and exploring different cultures. She is a yoga enthusiast, a self-proclaimed Asian food expert and a tea lover.

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Lee Feldman
Operating Partner, Founding Member

Miami, FL

Lee is an Operating Partner at Touring Capital, where he leads platform and operational efforts.

Lee joined Touring after spending his career in various technology operating and strategy roles. Prior to Touring, Lee led the thesis-driven investment strategies in emerging technology areas for M12 (Microsoft’s Venture Fund), including autonomous systems, national security technology, MLOps, gaming infrastructure and blockchain. Lee also built a machine learning tool for the fund to bolster data-driven sourcing and diligence strategies. Prior to M12, Lee led strategic initiatives for Corporate Strategy, Core Services Engineering and Operations, and was on the Corporate Strategy & Development team at Microsoft where he developed go-to-market and M&A strategies. Lee is a graduate of University of Michigan where he studied Economics and Entrepreneurship.

In his free time, Lee enjoys spending as much time as he can outdoors, especially with his Husky-Poodle named Uni, and tinkering with tech-enabled human performance. He’s an avid skier, golfer and aspiring tennis player. Lee is also involved in non-profit work, including as an Executive Board Member of Globally.Org, a public-policy organization with a mission to build communities of impact that solve global challenges

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Evan Wijaya
Principal, Founding Member

San Francisco, CA

Evan is a Principal at Touring Capital, where he focuses on global software investing.

Prior to Touring, Evan was at SoftBank Vision Fund, where he primarily focused on growth-stage software investing. At SoftBank, Evan invested in companies including Pixis, CommerceIQ, Go1, Fountain, Cloudbeds, Observe.ai, Standard AI, Blockdaemon, Vuori, and Picsart. Before SoftBank, Evan worked in growth equity and investment banking at The Raine Group, a global TMT-focused merchant bank; at Raine, Evan’s investments included Foursquare, Voi Technology, and Robin.io (acq. Rakuten). Evan is a graduate of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

Outside of Touring, Evan enjoys surfing around California (although he much prefers the warmer waters of his native Indonesia) and searching for the best street food around the world. Evan spent many of his younger days on the rugby pitch and remains a massive rugby fan.

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Samir Kumar
Co-Founder & General Partner

Menlo Park, CA

Samir is a General Partner at Touring Capital.

Before co-founding Touring, Samir was a Managing Partner at M12 (Microsoft’s Venture Fund), where he led investment activities in horizontal / vertical AI, deep tech, and hardware-enabled software companies. Samir’s notable investments include Applied Intuition, Psi Quantum, Wandelbots, Syntiant, D-Matrix, Regrow, and Netradyne. Samir previously held senior product and strategic business development roles at Qualcomm, Samsung, and Microsoft. He developed a strong passion for AI after delving deep into neural networks a decade ago; this ultimately paved his path to becoming a venture investor. Samir is a graduate of Cornell University.

Born in New Delhi and raised in New York, Samir has been inspired throughout his life by the future envisioned in Star Trek. This has been a driving force in shaping his technologist perspective throughout his career, both as an operator and a venture capitalist. At Touring, Samir is excited to partner with entrepreneurs building companies with a strong technical vision and potential to reshape our future.

When not with founders or reading up on the latest research trends in AI and the sciences, Samir enjoys his deep love for electronic music, which he can already see is shared by his 17-month-old daughter! Samir also dabbles in flight simulation and amateur astronomy.

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Nagraj Kashyap
Co-Founder & General Partner

San Francisco, CA

Nagraj is a General Partner at Touring Capital.

Nagraj co-founded Touring after a 20+ year career in venture capital. Nagraj previously founded and served as Global Head at M12 (Microsoft’s Venture Fund), was a founding partner and Global Head of Qualcomm Ventures, and most recently a Managing Partner at SoftBank Vision Fund. Nagraj’s notable investments include Zoom, Outreach, Livongo, Kahoot!, Waze, Fitbit, Airvana, Loggi, and Innovaccer. Nagraj is a graduate of the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and the University of Texas, Austin.

Originally from New Delhi, Nagraj is an accidental venture capitalist who has still yet to receive formal training. Nagraj initially began his career as a software engineer, product manager, and management consultant before landing in venture capital in 2003. At Touring, Nagraj looks to partner with entrepreneurs who are highly adaptable, deeply people-oriented and product-obsessed.  

Nagraj is active in the academic community, serving on the Advisory Council of the University of Texas Department of Computer Science and the Dean’s Advisory Board at SDSU Fowler College of Business. Nagraj was also formerly a board member of the National Venture Capital Association. In his free time, Nagraj enjoys meticulously planning family vacations (the most recent of which was a three-week long biking trip in the Balearic Islands), road biking, and studying political history.

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