Dec 4, 2023 - Business

Venture capitalists get AI tool to answer legal and tax questions

Illustration of a robot emoji inside quotation marks.

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

It was only a matter of time before venture capitalists got their own generative AI chatbot, to help them save money on outside lawyers and accountants.

Driving the news: The free new tool is called Decile Base and was developed by VC Lab, a sort of "YC for VCs" that has accelerated nearly 400 venture firms since 2021.

  • VC Lab has a Slack channel for managers to ask questions to industry experts, and decided to convert more than a thousand of those conversations into a large language model, using OpenAI's API.
  • Decile Base covers everything from fundraising to compliance to taxes to fund economics.

What they're saying: "It's not always right, but it's shockingly right and can save lots of calls to a $1,700 per hour fund formation attorney," says VC Lab CEO Adeo Ressi.

  • "In venture there always will be someone looking over what you're doing — that's the safety net — but you often can't make any decisions before consulting with those people first, which can be difficult, time consuming and expensive."
  • Ressi adds that Decile Base won't provide an answer it doesn't know (i.e., hallucinate), noting that it comes up empty around one in every 30 questions.

The bottom line: Venture capitalists are investing billions of dollars into generative AI, which already is beginning to revolutionize (and replace) types of white-collar work. It's not unreasonable to wonder how much longer until a lot of the investment decisions themselves can be automated.

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