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Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal invests in Elon Musk’s $24B AI startup

Kingdom Holding Company also holds a stake in Elon Musk’s social media platform X, formerly Twitter.
BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA - MAY 6: Elon Musk, co-founder of Tesla and SpaceX and owner of X Holdings Corp., speaks at the Milken Institute's Global Conference at the Beverly Hilton Hotel,on May 6, 2024 in Beverly Hills, California. The 27th annual global conference explores various topics, from the rise of generative AI to electric vehicle trends and features participants, soccer star David Beckham and actor Ashton Kutcher. (Photo by Apu Gomes/Getty Images)

Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, a high-profile Saudi investor, and his business Kingdom Holding Company have invested in Elon Musk’s $24 billion startup xAI as the kingdom continues to increase its presence in artificial intelligence. 

The project focuses on the development of advanced AI systems including Grok, Musk’s social media site X’s AI chatbot. 

On its website Sunday, the company announced a $6 billion Series B funding from the Saudi investor as well as firms Andreessen Horowitz, Sequoia Capital, Fidelity Management & Research Company, Valor Equity Partners and Vy Capital.

The startup’s website revealed the information Tuesday, with KHC and the company’s chairman being among one of the key investors.

Some 5% of KHC is listed on the Saudi stock exchange while Prince Alwaleed is listed as owning the other 95%. The company is backed by the country’s sovereign wealth fund, which acquired a $1.05 billion stake in the firm in 2022. The fund has around $900 billion in assets under management. 

The funds from the round will be used to take xAI’s first products to market, “build advanced infrastructure, and accelerate the research and development of future technologies,” the post read, explaining the startup “will continue on this steep trajectory of progress over the coming months, with multiple exciting technology updates and products soon to be announced.”

KHC also holds a stake in Musk’s social media platform X, formerly Twitter. Prince Alwaleed is a high-profile investor in Saudi Arabia and his company also has stakes in US bank Citigroup and Lyft as well as hotel companies Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts, the Hotel George V in Paris and the Savoy Hotel in London.

The billionaire prince also owns a large portfolio of assets in sectors such as real estate and entertainment, including the majority of Arabic-language media firm Rotana.

In March, Saudi Arabia announced the launch of a $44 billion fund to invest in artificial intelligence and become a world leader in the sector. Andreessen Horowitz, also an xAI investor and one of Silicon Valley’s leading venture capital firms, is in discussions about a potential partnership with the Saudi Public Investment Fund, according to the New York Times.