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20 Huge AI Startups (2021)

Artificial intelligence has the potential to transform industries ranging from medicine to sales to software development. And this potential is finally being realized.

The AI industry is poised to grow to an estimated $126 billion by 2025. Today, AI has become essential for an increasing number of businesses as remote work and reliance on technology are the new daily norm.

Read below for our picks for some of the most promising AI startups with a broad range of use cases across different industries.

1. HighSpot

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5-year search growth: 485%

Search growth status: Peaked

Year founded: 2012

Location: Seattle, WA

Funding: $396.9M (Series E)

What they do: HighSpot is an AI-based sales enablement platform, leveraging artificial intelligence to guide sales professionals through the day with actionable information. From organizing marketing content to coaching reps, all the way to actively making data-driven suggestions for reps, HighSpot aims to be the one-stop-shop sales enablement platform.

2. Netra

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5-year search growth: 55%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2013

Location: Boston, MA

Funding: $3.9M (Seed Round)

What they do: Netra is a comprehensive video analysis platform using the power of artificial intelligence to make on-the-fly recommendations or collect video data. Offering tools like safety analysis, metadata analysis, and object detection, users can quickly and easily break down video content or analyze live streams in real-time.

By sending a video URL to Netra’s API, users get access to a full suite of tools that are helpful for determining advertising, flagging harmful content, and assessing the effectiveness of logos and brands during live streamed videos.

3. Argo

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5-year search growth: 111%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2016

Location: Pittsburgh, PA

Funding: $3.6B (Corporate Round)

What they do: Quite simply, Argo is aiming to be the first fully integrated self-driving system that features artificial intelligence baked into their maps, hardware, software, and combines with an automaker’s expertise in building vehicles.

The secret sauce is in Argo’s artificially intelligent LIDAR system, which builds real-time models of roads and obstacles for self-driving cars to navigate.

4. CloudMinds

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5-year search growth: 0%

Search growth status: Peaked

Year founded: 2015

Location: Santa Clara, CA

Funding: $468.6M (Series B)

What they do: CloudMinds manufactures open end-to-end software for robots that have a variety of uses, from being “receptionists”, security bots, and even customer service. Using their proprietary HARIX artificial intelligence software that connects with 4G/5G cellular service, CloudMinds robots are able to adapt in real time to unique situations.

5. AEye

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5-year search growth: 52%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2013

Location: Dublin, California

Funding: $89.1M (Debt Financing)

What they do: AEye is another AI platform with the goal of safe, universal vehicle autonomy for all. Their trademarked iDAR (intelligent Detection and Ranging) is a mixture of AI software, LiDar, and a camera that provides robotic vision for safety, object detection, and real time feedback from vehicle systems.

With a range of investors from Kleiner Perkins to LG Electronics, AEye is certainly one of the most promising autonomous artificial intelligence startups around.

6. DataRobot

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5-year search growth: 211%

Search growth status: Peaked

Year founded: 2012

Location: Boston, Mass

Funding: $750.6M (Series F)

What they do: DataRobot is one of the undisputed leaders in enterprise AI, receiving over $700M in investment rounds and being a trusted partner to large clients like Kroger, Humana, Lenovo, and LendingTree.

Using DataRobot, customers can harness the power of AI to cut costs, access robust analytics with actionable insights, and deploy leading prediction models that executives can use to make decisions about the future.

7. H2O.ai

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5-year search growth: 52%

Search growth status: Peaked

Year founded: 2012

Location: Mountain View, California

Funding: $151.1M (Series D)

What they do: H2O is an open-source AI platform that allows developers to import algorithms for different use cases. Within their comprehensive suite, users can build predictive models or access rich analytics for reports or continuous improvement within the organization.

H2O’s customers range from insurance to retail to manufacturing, and use cases include fraud prediction, reducing customer churn, and thousands of others.

8. Accubits

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5-year search growth: 4300%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2012

Location: Washington D.C.

Funding: None disclosed

What they do: Accubits is slightly different from the rest of the artificial intelligence startups on the list. Mainly due to the fact that they’re an agency focused on customized artificial intelligence solutions rather than a single use case. Working with governments, Fortune 500, and a wide variety of companies, Accubits researches and develops AI solutions that are tailored to different industries.

Accubits also come in as consultants and help implement artificial intelligence into existing ecosystems, or make active recommendations based on their extensive knowledge in the space.

9. Osaro

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5-year search growth: 158%

Search growth status: Peaked

Year founded:2015

Location: San Francisco, California

Funding: $66.3M (Series B)

What they do: Osaro is solving the problem of AI automation at an industrial scale, building intelligent robots for a smarter supply chain. Managing objects (seeing, picking, placing) in a warehouse can be a complex task. Osaro’s leading AI technology allows robots to nimbly move and operate while continuously improving the way tasks are completed.

Osaro has been deployed in grocery stores, cosmetics, distribution centers and more.

10. GoodVision

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5-year search growth: 0%

Search growth status: Peaked

Year founded: 2017

Location: London, United Kingdom

Funding: €1M (Seed Round)

What they do: GoodVision plays in the traffic analytics space, using AI to break down data from traffic cameras and drones. This gives logistics officials the ability to understand traffic patterns in real time with comprehensive analytics and suggestions.

Their Video Insights platform is their bread and butter, with claims that it saves traffic professionals 95% of their time by automating tedious processes and freeing up time for focusing on traffic solutions.

11. Swim.ai

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5-year search growth: 0%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2015

Location: Campbell, California

Funding: $25.4M (Series B)

What they do: Swim’s premier product is Swim Continuum, a production-ready platform for building real-time end-to-end smart applications. By giving customers continual situational awareness and rich data analytics at scale, use cases like monitoring a network and seeing where outages are happening can be done rapidly instead of a period of hours.

12. CureMetrix

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5-year search growth: 0%

Search growth status: Peaked

Year founded: 2014

Location: La Jolla, California

Funding: Undisclosed amount (Series A)

What they do: CureMetrix has taken their patent-pending artificial intelligence software and applied it to the critical field of medical imaging (specifically mammography.) By putting AI-powered software in the hands of radiologists, CureMetrix is aiming to improve medical imaging care, reduce healthcare costs, and improve patient outcomes.

13. Dataiku

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5-year search growth: 413%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2013

Location: New York City, New York

Funding: $246.8M (Series D)

What they do: Dataiku is a large-scale, enterprise AI platform that allows data analysts or tech-savvy developers to develop their own AI solutions and applications that uniquely suit their business.

Instead of a one size fits all approach, Dataiku provides a workbench for customized AI solutions. With training, toolboxes, and sandboxes built into their platform, Dataiku is one of Gartner’s leaders in the data science and machine learning space.

14. Frame AI

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5-year search growth: -15%

Search growth status: Peaked

Year founded: 2016

Location: NYC, New York

Funding: $10.3M (Series A)

What they do: Frame is building one of the leading customer success platforms by providing leading artificial intelligence software around a robust solutions framework aimed at solving numerous customer challenges.

By building “The Voice of the Customer engine”, teams can use Frame to detect themes among customers, identify patterns for retention or acquisition of customers, and turn qualitative feedback into quantitative data for leadership.

15. Eightfold

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5-year search growth: 2400%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2016

Location: Mountain View, California

Funding: $176.8M (Series D)

What they do: Eightfold is using AI to power a suite of HR-related products aimed at retaining, training, and finding the best talent in the marketplace.

Used by corporate clientele like Postmates, Capital One, and Hulu, Eightfold has carved out a niche by being one of the few HR software providers to harness artificial intelligence.

16. Pony.ai

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5-year search growth: 6200%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2016

Location: Fremont, California

Funding: $1.1B (Series C)

What they do: Pony is perhaps one of the most well-known AI self-driving companies, attracting over $1 billion in investment since they were founded in 2016. What makes Pony unique is its dual focus on China and the United States, tackling a wide range of regulations, road conditions, and safety challenges that are very different from each other.

Pony was recently given a $400 million investment from Toyota to accelerate their go-to-market strategy for their AI tech.

17. BigML

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5-year search growth: 13%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2011

Location: Corvallis, Oregon

Funding: $4.4M (Venture Round)

What they do: BigML has pioneered the MLAAS (Machine Learning as a Service) model, allowing individual users to utilize their advanced artificial intelligence and machine learning platform.

Using BigML, smart contracts can be created that are powered by state-of-the-art models and predictive analytics. BigML’s goal is to bring Machine Learning to the world and democratize the ability to program and harness ML.

18. Spacemaker AI

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5-year search growth: 0%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2016

Location: Oslo, Norway

Funding: $25M (Series A)

What they do: Spacemaker targets the construction and real estate space, by deploying their AI technology to maximize the value of real estate sites. Their software provides a fully automated and connected site-planning workflow in a field that is notoriously behind when it comes to technology.

19. Observe.AI

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5-year search growth: 0%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2017

Location: San Francisco, CA

Funding: $88.1M (Series B)

What they do: Observe is applying the power of artificial intelligence to call centers. Advanced data analytics and real time feedback provide agents with powerful tools for delivering a better customer service experience. Coaches can also leave accurate feedback within call transcripts.

Observe’s platform is tied together with a tightly packaged user experience, making it easy to use for managers or contact center agents.

20. Capacity

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5-year search growth: 41%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2017

Location: St. Louis, Missouri

Funding: $34.5M (Series C)

What they do: Capacity has built the first fully AI-powered Helpdesk, which continuously learns from interactions between employees and customers while automating processes and decisions in real time.

The result is improved customer satisfaction while freeing employees from mundane tasks so they can focus on higher-level strategic thinking and decision making.

Conclusion

Artificial Intelligence is without a doubt one of the most exciting frontiers of technology, and these start-ups are all applying AI in different and fascinating ways.

From maximizing the value of a real estate and building design to improving the way cancer scans are done, AI is certainly well on its way to fulfilling its long prophesized promise.

Last Updated: 
May 26, 2021
Josh Howarth
Co-founder of Exploding Topics.

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