Profitable AI Business Models: Comprehensive Investor's Guide

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is no longer a thing of the future; it's here, transforming industries and how we live. 

As an investor, understanding the business models that underpin this tech revolution can open doors to lucrative opportunities. Why? Because knowing how a company plans to generate revenue is fundamental to assessing its investment potential. 

Plus, the artificial intelligence (AI) market is projected to skyrocket twentyfold to nearly two trillion U.S. dollars by 2030. This isn't another tech trend; it's a transformative force with the potential to reshape entire industries. 

And it's the investors who understand each of these AI business models that will be first to reap significant rewards...

Understanding Generative AI

Generative AI, in simple terms, is a type of AI that can create new, previously unseen content, from customer service responses to news articles. It's a game-changer, potentially revolutionizing industries from customer service to content creation.

Model as a Service (MaaS)

One of the most popular business models for generative AI is Model as a Service (MaaS). Think of it as a subscription to an AI model, much like your Netflix subscription but for AI services.

A prime example is OpenAI's GPT-3, licensed to Microsoft for use in its Bing search engine. For investors, MaaS offers a low-risk entry into the AI market, with potential for recurring revenues and high flexibility. Understanding this model can help investors identify companies with sustainable revenue streams and growth potential.

Built-In Apps

The next model is built-in apps, where companies build new applications on top of generative AI models. This model allows for the creation of unique, innovative experiences. Take Jasper, an AI content platform that helps businesses scale their content strategies using AI.

A word of caution: companies using this model often rely on AI technologies developed by others, which means they don't have their proprietary technology. This could potentially limit their competitive edge and influence their long-term sustainability. By understanding this model, investors can spot opportunities in companies that are leveraging AI to create new products and services while also being aware of the potential risks.

Vertical Integration

The third model is vertical integration, where companies enhance their existing offerings using generative AI. This model can create new value for customers and improve competitiveness. Case in point: Microsoft's integration of ChatGPT into Bing aims to produce more accurate and personalized search results. For investors, backing companies that successfully integrate AI into their existing products can yield substantial returns. Understanding this model can help investors identify companies innovating within their existing business structures and are likely to see increased customer loyalty and revenue growth.


Generative AI is more than just a tech trend; it's a transformative force that can reshape industries and offer attractive investment opportunities. As an investor, understanding these business models is crucial to making informed decisions and potentially reaping significant rewards in the tech sector. The future of AI is here, and it's time to seize the opportunities it presents.

Eager to delve deeper into the AI revolution and its investment potential? Don't miss the latest from our Director of Tech Investing Research, Alex Kagin, who tackles AI's rapid growth, skepticism, ethical considerations, and increasing integration into major corporations. Discover more here.

Stay liquid, 

Nick Black

Chief Digital Asset Strategist, American Institute for Crypto Investors 

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