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100 artificial intelligence startups redefining industries

The AI 100 is CB Insights’ annual ranking of the 100 most promising AI startups in the world. This year’s winning companies include startups working on synthetic voice, quantum machine learning, protein modeling, and more.

The CB Insights 4th annual AI 100 finalists include AI startups from 13 countries, pushing the boundaries of AI research and commercial adoption across 15 industries and a broad range of cross-industry applications.

Using the CB Insights platform, our research team picked the 100 companies from nearly 5K startups, based on several factors including patent activity, business relations, investor profile, news sentiment analysis, proprietary Mosaic scores, market potential, competitive landscape, team strength, and tech novelty.

Startups are categorized by their main focus areas. Categories in the market map below are not mutually exclusive.

Please click to enlarge.

  • 2020 AI 100 highlights

    Company stage and partnership momentum

    The 2020 AI 100 cohort includes a broad range of startups, including well-funded companies commercializing their products and expanding into new markets, startups forming business relationships with key industry players, and early-stage startups with a strong research focus that have not yet raised external funding.

    A few highlights are provided below:

        • The 2020 AI 100 startups have raised over $7.4B in funding across 300+ deals from 600+ unique investors.
        • The list includes 10 unicorns focused on a diverse range of AI solutions. One unicorn on the list is Faire, a wholesale marketplace that uses machine learning to match local retailers with goods that are predicted to sell well in their specific locations. Butterfly Network, another unicorn on the list, is building a portable ultrasound device that uses AI-assisted diagnostics. Meanwhile, enterprise-focused unicorn DataRobot provides tools to help companies develop AI applications.
        • The list includes early-stage startups like Caspar AI, which has struck deals with companies like Panasonic and The Wolff Company to develop smart home solutions. Another early-stage company on the list is Israel-based Razor Labs, which has provided AI services to mining companies.
        • A number of startups have formed partnerships with key industry players. ClimaCell, which focuses on climate modeling, has partnerships with Google, JetBlue, Delta, and Munich RE to name a few. Drug R&D company Cyclica has teamed up with leading pharma companies like Bayer and Merck., an insurance tech startup focused on catastrophe risk, recently partnered with MetLife to use AI to help predict wildfire risk.
    Industry focus

    This year’s AI 100 companies are working on solutions across 15 core industries, including healthcare, retail & warehouse, and finance & insurance.

    A number of companies are also focused on several cross-industry solutions, like the development of AI processors, sales & CRM, and natural language processing (NLP) research.

        • Healthcare is the top industry for AI deal activity at large, and this is reflected in the 2020 cohort, with 13 companies focused on healthcare AI. Eko, for example, is integrating AI software into stethoscopes to monitor cardiac health and received FDA clearance in January. Meanwhile, is turning smartphones into at-home diagnostic kits, with a focus on urinalysis. Another healthcare company on the list is Subtle Medical, which is using AI to enhance radiology images.
        • Retail & warehousing was the second-largest category represented in the AI 100 cohort this year. Featured startups in this space include Aifi, Standard Cognition, and Grabango, which are all focused on developing cashierless store services for retailers.
        • Within transportation, our 2020 AI 100 list includes startups focused on safe highway driving (Ghost Locomotion), predictive maintenance for the railway industry (KONUX), and automated dispatch and freight management (Loadsmart).
    Geographic distribution

    The companies in the cohort represent 13 countries, including Chile, China, Sweden, South Africa, and Japan

    US-based companies dominate the 2020 AI 100 list, with 65% of the featured companies based there, but the cohort also reflects a number of emerging AI hubs:

        • A total of 8 startups from Canada are featured on the 2020 AI 100 list, including Xanadu (quantum AI), Invenia (energy grid optimization), and Deeplite (neural network optimization).
        • The 8 UK startups on the list include InstaDeep, an AI R&D company that jointly published a research paper last year with Google DeepMind on a novel reinforcement learning algorithm called AlphaNPI. Snyk, another UK-based startup on the list, focuses on security solutions for developers and has partnered with companies like Google and Trend Micro to help detect vulnerabilities.
        • There are 6 startups based in China in the 2020 AI 100 cohort. One example is Dorabot, a startup focused on reinforcement learning for robotic manipulation and warehouse logistics. Another example is ed tech company Squirrel AI, which has entered into research collaborations focused on personalized learning with institutions like SRI International and Carnegie Mellon University.

    Table of 2020 winners

    List of 2020 winners by industry, application, and headquarters.

    CB Insights AI 100 (2020)
    Company Industry Application
    BUILT Robotics Construction Robotic guidance
    ALICE Technologies Construction Schedule planning
    Korbit Education Personalized learning
    Squirrel AI Learning Education Personalized learning
    Invenia Energy Grid optimization
    Beyond Limits Energy Oil & gas
    Tachyus Energy Oil & gas
    ComplyAdvantage Finance & insurance AML & KYC
    Featurespace Finance & insurance Anti-fraud
    Tractable Finance & insurance Claims processing
    HyperScience Finance & insurance Document processing
    Lemonade Finance & insurance Home & renters insurance Finance & insurance Property & casualty insurance
    Benson Hill Food & agriculture Genomics platform
    Bowery Farming Food & agriculture Indoor farming
    NotCo Food & agriculture Ingredient discovery
    Synapse Technology Government & city planning Checkpoint security
    Replica Government & city planning Commuter behavior modeling
    Mapillary Government & city planning Mapping
    Shield AI Government & city planning Unmanned systems
    AMP Robotics Government & city planning Waste recycling
    Recursion Pharmaceuticals Healthcare Biopharma (rare diseases)
    Eko Healthcare Cardiology Healthcare Consumer diagnostics
    Zebra Medical Vision Healthcare Medical imaging
    Atomwise Healthcare Drug R&D
    Cyclica Healthcare Drug R&D
    OWKIN Healthcare Federated learning
    PAIGE.AI Healthcare Pathology
    Butterfly Network Healthcare Portable ultrasound
    ProteinQure Healthcare Protein therapeutics
    Subtle Medical Healthcare Radiology image reconstruction
    Concerto HealthAI Healthcare Real world evidence Healthcare Stroke detection
    Lexion Legal Contract management
    DataProphet Manufacturing End-to-end solutions
    NavVis Manufacturing Indoor spatial mapping
    Citrine Informatics Manufacturing Material discovery Manufacturing Supply chain optimization
    Synthesia Technologies Media & entertainment Deepfakes
    Second Spectrum Media & entertainment Sports
    FanAI Media & entertainment Streaming, audience monetization
    WellSaid Labs Media & entertainment Synthetic voice
    Razor Labs Mining Predictive maintenance
    Caspar.AI Real estate Smart home applications
    AiFi Retail & warehousing Checkout-free solution
    Grabango Retail & warehousing Checkout-free solution
    Standard Cognition Retail & warehousing Checkout-free solution
    The Yes Retail & warehousing E-commerce solutions
    Heuritech Retail & warehousing Trend prediction
    Dorabot Retail & warehousing Warehouse automation
    Covariant AI Retail & warehousing Warehouse automation
    Osaro Retail & warehousing Warehouse automation
    Faire Retail & warehousing Wholesale marketplace
    Metawave Telecom Antenna design
    DeepSig Telecom Signal processing
    Aurora Transportation Autonomous cars
    Voyage Transportation Autonomous cars
    TuSimple Transportation Autonomous trucking
    HoloMatic Transportation AV software
    iSee Transportation AV software
    Loadsmart Transportation Freight management
    Ghost Locomotion Transportation Highway driving
    KONUX Transportation Railway maintenance
    Graphcore Cross-industry tech AI processors
    Kneron Cross-industry tech AI processors
    Lightmatter Cross-industry tech AI processors
    Syntiant Cross-industry tech AI processors
    Xanadu Cross-industry tech AI processors
    DarwinAI Cross-industry tech AI model development
    DataRobot Cross-industry tech AI model development Cross-industry tech AI model development
    PerceptiLabs Cross-industry tech AI model development
    dotData Cross-industry tech AI model development
    Algorithmia Cross-industry tech DevOps & model monitoring
    ArthurAI Cross-industry tech DevOps & model monitoring
    Snyk Cross-industry tech DevOps & model monitoring
    AInnovation Cross-industry tech NLP, NLG, & computer vision
    Hugging Face Cross-industry tech NLP, NLG, & computer vision
    Primer Cross-industry tech NLP, NLG, & computer vision
    Sherpa Cross-industry tech NLP, NLG, & computer vision
    Affectiva Cross-industry tech NLP, NLG, & computer vision
    Blue Hexagon Cross-industry tech Cybersecurity
    Obsidian Security Cross-industry tech Cybersecurity
    SentinelOne Cross-industry tech Cybersecurity
    Onfido Cross-industry tech Cybersecurity (ID verfication)
    Abnormal Security Cross-industry tech Cybersecurity Cross-industry tech BI & operational intel
    ClimaCell Cross-industry tech BI & operational intel
    Falkonry Cross-industry tech BI & operational intel
    Cresta Cross-industry tech Sales & CRM Cross-industry tech Sales & CRM
    Zhuiyi Technology Cross-industry tech Sales & CRM
    Deeplite Cross-industry tech Other R&D
    4Paradigm Cross-industry tech Other R&D
    InstaDeep Cross-industry tech Other R&D
    Kyndi Cross-industry tech Other R&D
    Nnaisense Cross-industry tech Other R&D
    HACARUS Cross-industry tech Other R&D
    SparkCognition Cross-industry tech Other R&D

    AI 100 (2020)

    Track the 100 most promising AI startups to watch in 2020. Look for AI 100 (2020) in the Collections tab.

  • AI 100 (2020)

    100 items

    Methodology: CB Insights datasets

    The AI 100 selections are a rigorous, data-informed process, combining CB Insights datasets with the research team’s industry expertise.

    The datasets and insights from CB Insights’ emerging tech insights platform that were leveraged to pick finalists include:

        • Patent Analytics to assess a company’s R&D strength and direction
        • Company Mosaic Scores to evaluate startup health, based on our National Science Foundation-backed algorithm that assesses a company’s health using 3 metrics: Market (how healthy is the industry the company is in?), Money (what is the financial health of the company?), and Momentum (how much traction does the company have?)
        • Business Relationships to identify partnerships and client-vendor relationships
        • Market Sizing Tools to assess growth opportunities and demand for the tech
        • Earnings Transcripts Search Engine & Analytics to identify key focus areas as well as bottlenecks for corporations
        • Competitor Data to assess tech novelty, market strength, and competitive landscape
        • News Trends for sentiment analysis

    Previous winners

    2019 AI 100

    2018 AI 100

    2017 AI 100

Article: AI 100: The Artificial Intelligence Startups Redefining Industries


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