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AI investment in 2023 and 2024




Yann Coatanlem & Oliver Coste


February 14, 2024



Investments in Artificial Intelligence (AI)  have accelerated at an unprecedented pace over the last 18 months. The purpose of this note is to document the delta between Europe and the US in terms of investment in AI. 


  1. The volume of AI investments


In November 2022, OpenAI launched ChatGPT, a Generative AI solution, that stuns the world by its exceptional public uptake: 1m users within 5 days, 100m users within 2 months. This led to an arms race between the main AI players (ie Microsoft + OpenAI, Google, Meta…) to acquire the computing infrastructure necessary to train the AI models. 


In January 2024, Meta announced it will have 350,000 NVIDIA chips by the end of 2024. This corresponds to an investment of approx $9bn. It also refers to a similar amount on GPU from other sources. Given the other costs associated with computing infrastructure (data centers, power, networking, storage…), it is not surprising to see Meta announcing a total investment in data center infrastructure (AI and non-AI) at $30 to $37bn in 2024


In September 2023, the leading VC fund Sequoia was estimating the total investment in AI infrastructure to $100bn in 2023, based on NVIDIA’s data center sales ($50bn). The main investors identified are the US Meta, Microsoft and Google, and China’s Bytedance, Tencent and Alibaba (as per the Financial Times). 


According to this article in techovedas.com, the 4 main customers of NVIDIA are Microsoft (15%), Meta (13%), Amazon (6.2%), Google (5.8%). Based on Mark Zuckerberg’s announcements above, we can estimate that they represent respectively $10bn, $9bn, $4.5bn and $4bn, or a total $27bn, which is consistent with NVIDIA’s total data center revenue or approx $50bn in 2023.


NVIDIA data center revenues grow x3 year over year (quarterly report by end Oct 2023): 





Analysts expect NVIDIA revenues to grow to $85bn to $110bn in Fiscal 2025 (February 2024 to January 2025). This means a conservative $70bn to $75bn for data center only (excluding gaming). 


AI infrastructure costs are around 2X NVIDIA revenues from GPUs and Networking (ie NVIDIA data center revenues):

 



(see page 36)


Therefore, we can anticipate a total investment into AI infrastructure around $150bn in 2024 (NVIDIA revenues X2). This does not include investments in AMD or Intel infrastructure, which should come to fruition in 2024 after a total focus of the Industry on NVIDIA. 



  1. The AI investments per region


The following source provides some insights about Europe’s role for NVIDIA: it represented 5% of NVIDIA’s revenues in 2021, and it disappeared from its financial reports after that: 





NVIDIA most recent revenues per region are as follows (page 24 of 10-Q report for quarter ending in October 2023): 





One can probably assume that sales to Taiwan eventually end up in the US via manufacturers of computers like Supermicro or Gigabyte who purchase GPUs from NVIDIA and sell servers to Microsoft, Meta, Oracle, Google and other US customers. 


It seems pretty clear that Europe is not a significant region for NVIDIA: even “Other Countries” only represent 4% of NVIDIA revenues. 


However, investment in Europe could be hidden behind sales through Taiwan or Singapore (while very unlikely through China). 


Therefore, it’s worth investigating possible investments in AI infrastructure in Europe directly from public announcements. 



  1. AI investments in Europe


a) Large companies


The largest European software player, SAP, announced investments into AI at 0.5bn euro per year


No announcement by Dassault Systemes, the French software leader. 


b) Startup companies



Crunchbase reports around $1bn raised by European startups in 2023: 




Statista identified $1.4bn investments in AI startups in Europe in 2022. 



c) Governments and EU


The European Commission announced public programs of 1bn euro per year. It also refers to a total amount of 20bn per year invested by the private sector and Member States, but there is no detail on how this is calculated. 


According to the European Investment Bank, Europe accounted for only 7% of AI and Bitcoin investments, while 80% were in the US and China: 





But these figures are old and predate the boom of AI after November 2022. 


In August 2023, Germany announced its plan to invest 500 m euros in AI in 2024. See also the announcement of 1.6bn euros over the government term. 


In January 2024, the Netherlands announced 222m euros investments in AI. 


France’s BPI announced 50m euros for AI in July 2023. 


d) European Supercomputers





No clear investment figures for Europe. 



4. Conclusion


The total investments in AI can be computed around several billion euros in Europe. Let’s assume that the European investment in AI infrastructure only in 2024 is around $2bn (which is probably generous), it compares to a total worldwide of around $150bn and a US amount thereof probably around $100bn (assuming ⅔ US and ⅓ China). The ratio is around 1 to 50 between Europe and the US. 



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