Mission

Artificial Intelligence for Europe

Artificial Intelligence is one of the most significant innovations in human history and is expected to transform nearly every industry. AI has reached the era of broadscale application and Europe is well positioned to become a new hotspot for applied AI. AI.FUND is a highly-focused entrepreneurial investment fund committed to advance AI from Europe. 

We seek to empower economic growth and prosperity through the development and adoption of AI solutions based on European values. We dedicate all our experience and competence as successful entrepreneurs, investors and technology experts to create European AI leaders and to connect them with the established economy. 

Investment Focus and Value Creation

We invest in the most promising early stage AI first startups in Europe and Israel which put AI at the heart of their impactful solution. We focus on the application of AI across all sectors. Our preferred stages are seed and Series A rounds. We expect first customer traction and the ambition to scale internationally.

With our clear focus on scalable AI from Europe, our experienced entrepreneurial team and our unique international network in AI, VC and the business world, we actively support our portfolio companies in scaling up their business globally.

Story

As experienced tech entrepreneurs and investors we have founded, scaled and exited industry-leading software and technology companies internationally for the last 30 years, including some of the biggest success stories in the German software and digital industry. We have long been convinced of the potential of AI. We made our first investment in an AI startup in 2002 and as entrepreneurs we have applied AI to generate considerable benefits since then. Today, we are convinced that the adoption of AI is on the threshold of exponential growth and will create significant value in many sectors within the next decade. We believe that especially Europe – with its globally leading, diversified and strong industrialized economy and its current digital transformation – has highly promising opportunities in the application of AI. But startups often lack funding and the expertise to scale and market ideas internationally. We believe that our extensive global network and expertise in internationally scaling companies will create valuable businesses with positive impact to change the world with their innovative applications.

Team

With more than 30 years in business we are an exceptionally experienced management team with complementary skill-set and outstanding track record in the fields investing, global scaling and AI.

Ragnar Kruse | Founding Partner

Ragnar has been a serial tech entrepreneur for >35 years and is an active startup investor. He is co-founder of AI.INVEST and AI.HAMBURG, co-founder and former CEO of smaato, a leading mobile advertising platform, and former SVP Sales & Marketing of Intershop, the leading e-commerce software provider. He is Board Member of the German American Chamber of Commerce (GAAC) and Representative of the KI Bundesverband Region North.

Petra Vorsteher | Founding Partner

Petra is a serial tech entrepreneur, co-founder of AI.GROUP, AI.HAMBURG, AI.IMPACT, AI.STARTUP.HUB, Transatlantic AI eXchange, Smaato and Intershop. She is very well connected in European and U.S. innovation ecosystems and today is a representative of various institutions including: Board Member ECIU University, Ambassador Hamburg University of Technology TUHH, Advisory Board Member Faculty of Business Administration Hamburg University UHH, Member Investment Committee Hamburg Innovation, Member Committee of Innovation & Research at Hamburg Chamber of Commerce, Board Member Hamburg@Work, Vice President American Club, Board Member Amerikazentrum. She was Hamburg Ambassador in San Francisco and now Chairman of Hamburg Ambassador Global Alumni and spent more than 40 years in Silicon Valley.

Dr. John Lange | Founding Partner

John has been an experienced investment professional in the digital and software space for more than 25 years. As the former MD and CFO of the digital investment portfolio of Axel Springer, Europe’s largest media company, he was jointly responsible for the extraordinary successful development of the portfolio with more than 150 early and later stage digital platform investments. Prior to that he was responsible for the IPO of Intershop making the software company one of the first unicorn startups in Germany. John is advisor at AI.HAMBURG and Member of Committee of Innovation & Research at Hamburg Chamber of Commerce.

Ingo Hoffmann | Founding Partner

Ingo has a long-years of experience in software and AI and its commercialization as a Director at AppliedAI / UnternehmerTUM, as GM of CyberValley in Thübingen, as Director at IBM Watson and as VP at SAP. Today Ingo is advisor for the German Government in AI, member of the Global Partnership on AI (GPAI), MD of AI.HAMBURG, Executive Board of ADI Innovation AG and expert for Bundesagentur für Sprunginnovation (SPRIN-D).

Hauke Hansen | Founding Partner

Hauke is an experienced investor, entrepreneur and tech expert. He is founder of the startup invest firm Lakeside Invest and has served as operating partner for the private equity firm Triton. He has been a member of Amazon’s EU leadership team and served on the board of management of the Nasdaq company Cimpress / Vistaprint. He has held various board positions and has founded or co-founded 9 companies. Earlier in his career he has worked for ASML and McKinsey & Company. Hauke holds a PhD. in Quantum Physics from the University of Konstanz and is author of the book „Capex Excellence”.

Fabian is a renowned Investor and Entrepreneur with a career spanning over 15 years. His expertise is deeply rooted in DeepTech and Artificial Intelligence, areas where he has consistently driven innovation and growth. As the founder of Asgard Capital, Fabian has established a leading AI-focused investment fund, demonstrating his foresight in the potential of AI. He is also the creative force behind the Rise of AI Conference, a pivotal event that brings together global thought leaders in AI. Further solidifying his impressive track record, Fabian was a founding employee at Point Nine Capital, where he played a crucial role in early successes like Delivery Hero. His visionary approach and achievements have made him a key figure in the European startup ecosystem and beyond.

Fabian Westernheide | Founding Partner

Oliver Gottfried, PhD | Investment Director & Head of Partnerships

Oliver is Investment Director & Head of Partnerships at AI.FUND and worked for HongDao Capital, a Chinese AI-focused Venture Capital firm where he was responsible for AI-based investments with focus on mobility (autonomous driving). He is a Postdoctoral researcher at the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI), researching AI-based investments. He was a visiting scholar at Stanford University, doing research on cross-border Business Development strategies for AI-related computer vision VC investments. Oliver received his PhD in Engineering from Tsinghua University, focusing on BD strategies for Deep Learning-related VC/PE investments in China. He speaks fluent Chinese. Oliver is Program Director for the Transatlantic AI eXchange as well as an Intel Ignite & German Accelerator Mentor for AI-driven start-ups in the mobility (autonomous driving) & greentech sector.

Partner Network

Want to get in touch?

If you are an investor with interest in the AI.FUND, or if you want to cooperate with us, or if you are an AI startup - then please contact us.
AI.FUND
AI.FUND@AI.FUND
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"These investors are funding Germany's AI hopefuls", writes today's Handelsblatt.... ‘The further down the pyramid, the greater the opportunity for us’: venture capitalists reveal why they invest in AI start-ups.” In light of Germany's burgeoning AI landscape, underscored by a significant 330% investment increase in AI startups in 2023, we at AI.FUND are thrilled to be at the forefront of this transformative journey. As the first AI fund in Germany to complete investments, our mission to bridge the gap between exceptional talent and the capital they deserve has never been more vital. We extend our heartfelt thanks to Luisa Bomke from Handelsblatt for highlighting this journey. ➡ Read the full article here: https://lnkd.in/eu_NGCeB #aIlinvestment #technology #innovation #venturecapital
Dr. John Lange
Dr. John Lange@Dr. John Lange
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"Wer investiert in Deutschlands KI-Hoffnungen?" Das Handelsblatt gibt heute in der Printausgabe einen Überblick über #KI-Investoren in Deutschland - und wir als Newcomer sind dabei! #KI ist eine Schlüsseltechnologie, die in allen Lebensbereichen wichtige #Innovationen ermöglicht. #Startups entwickeln diese Innovationen. Daher ist es wichtig, diese Startups mit #Kapital und #Expertise zu unterstützen. Vor allem in #Europa, wo wir noch viel Potenzial haben. Wir vom AI.FUND freuen uns sehr, mit unserem erfolgreichen First Closing ab sofort europäische KI Startups zusammen mit anderen Investoren zu unterstützen und als auf KI spezialisierter unternehmerischer Fonds die VC-Landschaft in Europa zu ergänzen. 🚀 Wir verstehen uns nicht nur als reiner Finanzinvestor, sondern als unternehmerischer Partner der Startups und Investoren sowie als #Innovationspartner der Corporates, die KI als Innovationstreiber dringend brauchen. Mit unseren ersten Investments Sinpex und ALEIA unterstützen wir bereits zwei erfolgreiche KI Startups im Portfolio, und wir werden hart daran arbeiten, bald in der Liste der in KI aktivsten Fonds aufzutauchen. Vielen Dank an Luisa Bomke und Nadine Schimroszik vom Handelsblatt dafür, das Thema KI Investments in Deutschland umfassend beleuchtet zu haben. Vielen Dank auch an Petra Rulsch fürs Brückenbauen. Ich freue mich auf die Zusammenarbeit mit den Startups, unseren Investoren, anderen Fonds, den Corporates und natürlich mit meinen Partnern im Fonds Ragnar Kruse Petra Vorsteher Dr. Hauke Hansen Fabian J. G. Westerheide Ingo Hoffmann und dem gesamten Team. #VC #VentureCapital #Investing #AI #KI #Innovation #startup
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