A primer on Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning + Sunstone’s investment thesis

Yacine Ghalim
Mar 31, 2017 · 2 min read

Over the past couple of years, we found ourselves investing in 7 AI and ML enabled companies, in areas as diverse as marketing, credit scoring, recruitment, fertility tracking and so on. Most importantly, more and more of our other portfolio companies are starting to adopt these technologies in order to make their products better. It appears that we’ve been among the most active European investors in what most people today still view as a “theme”. However we never intended to “invest in AI”, we just tried to back companies solving important industry problems in a novel way.

What follows is a presentation that we gave to our LPs at our most recent investor day in February. We tried to give them a primer on these technologies: what they are ; why we are all talking about them now ; and how we, at Sunstone, have been thinking about investing in those companies.

We thought that we would share it with everyone else and hope that you’ll enjoy it.

Video with voice-over (30 min):

Slides only:

If you’d like to understand why we backed some of the specific companies, look for some of the individual blog posts we wrote on some of them (more on the way!). If you’re building a company enabled by these technologies and tackling an important industry problem, we’d love to have a chat.


My thinking on these topics has matured over the years and owes a lot to the conversations I’ve had with many entrepreneurs in the field. It also owes a lot to other investors focusing on these technologies. They include Frank Chen at A16Z, Matt Turck at FirstMark, and Nathan Benaich.

Partner at Heartcore Capital. Europe’s consumer-only VC firm. Hero founders + large existing markets + obsessive consumer centricity. Into food and mobility.

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