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Salesforce to open new AI center in London as part of $4 billion UK investment

A Salesforce corporate logo hangs over the front door of the Salesforce Tower on January 22, 2024, in New York City.

Gary Hershorn | Getty Images

LONDON — Enterprise tech giant Salesforce is opening an artificial intelligence center in London, making a bullish bet on the U.K. as a global technology hub.

The U.S. software giant said in a statement Thursday that it is opening a more-than-40,000-square-foot facility in London’s Blue Fin Building, which can host over 300 people.

It will be used to encourage industry collaboration among tech firms, AI experts, Salesforce partners and customers, the company said, as well as facilitate AI training and upskilling programs.

Salesforce said it expects the AI center to play a role in creating 500,000 AI-related jobs in the U.K.

The facility will officially open June 18 with a free event to train more than 100 developers.

Salesforce said the center, which is planned to be the first of many globally, would support its U.K. and Ireland business. It will be led by the firm’s U.K. and Ireland CEO, Zahra Bahrololoumi.

The news was announced at the Salesforce World Tour event at the London Excel venue on Thursday, which is expected to see more than 17,500 delegates and customers gather from companies including Aston Martin, McLaren, Just Eat Takeway and John Lewis.

“By locating Salesforce’s first, flagship AI center in London, we are sending a clear message to customers and partners on AI: we are deeply committed to working closely together so that you can reap the rewards of this transformative technology, while ensuring it is a force for good,” Salesforce’s Bahrololoumi said in a statement.

$4 billion investment in UK

The AI center forms part of a $4 billion investment in the U.K., which Salesforce committed to make over five years in 2023.

In addition to announcing the opening of its AI center, Salesforce also revealed that it had invested more than $200 million into U.K. startups via its venture capital arm, Salesforce Ventures. These include the procurement bid writing platform AutoGen AI and Eleven Labs, an AI-powered text-to-speech and voice generator.

Patrick Stokes, executive vice president of product and industries marketing, said the U.K. was a “really interesting place to

a really interesting place to do it, because some of the challenges here with AI and data are, in some cases a little bit more difficult to solve than they are in the US, there’s a little bit more regulation here. And consumer protection. And that somewhat counter intuitively, that’s a good thing for us as, as enterprise developers, because if we can solve those problems here, we’ve kind of solved them for everywhere. So typically, you want to kind of lean into the more challenging environments, from a from a product development standpoint, and learn as much as you can, it, as you know, is more challenging environments. We expect to see more of that type of regulation and consumer privacy protection. There are parts of the United States where we were where we see it emerging, we’d like to see more so. So I think leaning into the UK is a smart decision for us. And it ties in very nicely to the commitment that we made, probably right here in this room last year.

For a billion investment in the UK.

The news comes amid concerns over whether Salesforce’s investments into AI are paying off. The company last week reported weaker-than-expected fiscal first-quarter revenue and issued guidance that fell short of investor expectations.

Salesforce reported revenue of $9.13 billion for the period, up 11% from a year ago but below analyst expectations of $9.17 billion. The company said it expects adjusted earnings of $2.34 to $2.36 per share for the current quarter, lower than the $2.40 per share expected by analysts.



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