Phil Libin, the cofounder and former CEO of note-taking app Evernote, has launched a new venture capital (VC) fund called All Turtles in San Francisco, The Financial Times reports.
The All Turtles fund will reportedly be used to back entrepreneurs developing products that are underpinned by artificial intelligence.
Instead of backing companies like normal VCs, Libin reportedly wants to back “products” as he believes entrepreneurs shouldn’t have to start a new company each time they want to try a new idea.
Referring to Silicon Valley VC land, he said: “You’re not allowed to work on something unless it could be a $US10 billion company. It’s really stupid. Obviously there are a lot of products that could be worth a couple of hundred million.”
It’s currently unclear how big the fund is but All Turtles has already backed 10 AI projects in San Francisco, according to the FT, including Replika, which creates smartphone “companions” that are designed to evolve into your best friend. Libin intends to expand All Turtles to Tokyo and Paris before the end of the year.
In May 2015, Libin argued in favour of augmenting humans with technologies that are likely to be based on artificial intelligence during a debate at Oxford University.
“The upsides of making people better and making people smarter will far outweigh the downsides,” he said.
Libin stepped down as Evernote CEO in July 2015 and left the company for good in September 2016 after staying on for more than a year as its executive chairman.
Libin told Recode that his decision to resign as CEO was largely due to his lack of passion leading a company that’s about to go public.