Salesforce bets big on AI, with new products and increased investment

12 Jun 2023

Image: © DW labs Incorporated/

Salesforce Ventures, the VC arm of the CRM giant, is increasing its generative AI fund from $250m to $500m.

Salesforce is throwing its resources behind generative AI innovation, if the wave of announcements it made today (12 June) are anything to go by.

The customer relations management (CRM) giant held a dedicated ‘AI Day’ in New York to mark its commitment to the tech. At the event, the company’s CEO Mark Benioff gave the public a rundown of what to expect when it comes to AI strategy.

As well as allocating twice as much money as previously planned to spend on generative AI, Salesforce unveiled some new products. Its new AI Cloud enterprise platform will now power generative AI content for every Salesforce application.

AI Cloud will incorporate the so-called ‘Einstein GPT’ that the company debuted in March of this year. Einstein GPT is a CRM tool powered by AI. It helps Salesforce customers to complete tasks such as writing emails, support articles and even code. Benioff said at the time Einstein GPT was launched that it would integrate with OpenAI, as well as Tableau and Slack.

All Salesforce-owned platforms will have their own layer of generative AI, with rollouts occurring at different stages. Slack GPT is in beta from today and will be generally available later this year. Other platforms will be slightly slower, such as Flow, which won’t be in pilot until October and Tableau which will take until November to enter pilot.

AI Cloud will include what Salesforce called an ‘Einstein Trust Layer’ which aims to conserve customer data and privacy.

The Einstein GPT Trust Layer aims to help prevent large-language models (LLMs) from retaining sensitive customer data. The separation of sensitive data from the LLM will help customers maintain data governance controls while using generative AI tools.

“AI is reshaping our world and transforming business in ways we never imagined, and every company needs to become AI-first,” said Benioff. He described AI Cloud as a fast and easy way for customers to “unleash the incredible power of AI, with trust at the centre”.

The VC wing of Salesforce promised today to double its generative AI fund from $250m to $500m. It will be able to add new AI start-ups to its fund. The company runs a Salesforce AI for Impact Accelerator, which is a scheme that aims to help organisations gain equitable access to trustworthy AI tech.

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Blathnaid O’Dea was a Careers reporter at Silicon Republic until 2024.