Nathan Benaich, the founder of venture capitalist firms Air Street Capital, has caught Google’s eye (NASDAQ:GOOGL) AI boss, Twitter Inc. (NYSE:TWTR), and Supercell founder.
Air Street Capital secures $17 million funding
Last week Benaich announced that he had secured new funding of $17 million from some big names for investing in AI startups in the US and Europe. For over a decade Benaich has straddled the venture capital and AI world and has the grasp of recent AI development and firms behind them, unlike most VCs. He previously worked for venture company Playfair in London and Point Nine Capital in Berlin. Benaich was also a seed investor in Swedish company Mapillary, which gathered street-level imagery to create digital maps and was recently acquired by Facebook for an undisclosed fee. Playfair also invested in Jukedeck, which was acquired by ByteDance in July 2019.
Benaich’s fund is investing in startups combining AI expertise and industry-specific knowledge in consumer, enterprise, and life science industries. Some of the fund’s investments include Anagenex, Allcyte, Graphcore, LabGenius, Intenseye, V7 Labs, Mission Barns, and ZOE. Benaich said that everyone is aware that there is a huge investment opportunity in AI, but very few investors know what the best early-stage AI firms look like.
The success of Benaich in transforming startups not adequate
AI lab DeepMind senior research scientist Andrew Trask said that of the VCs, he is aware that Nathan’s is one of the most informed in matters AI. Trask said that he has always been impressed with Nathan’s insight in the AI field. However, Benaich is yet to back a startup that has gone to become a multi-billion success story that is a measure used to gauge VCs.
According to a VC that wanted to maintain anonymity because of the discussions’ sensitivity, Benaich doesn’t have an adequate track record in investment. The VC said that the big names investing in his VC are doing so because of his work ethic, personality, and expertise.