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.
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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. Zesty.ai, an insurance tech startup focused on catastrophe risk, recently partnered with MetLife to use AI to help predict wildfire risk.
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, Healthy.io 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).
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 Zesty.ai 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 Healthy.io 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 Viz.ai Healthcare Stroke detection Lexion Legal Contract management DataProphet Manufacturing End-to-end solutions NavVis Manufacturing Indoor spatial mapping Citrine Informatics Manufacturing Material discovery Noodle.ai 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 H2O.ai 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 C3.ai 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 Integrate.ai 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)
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AI 100 (2020)
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
2019 AI 100
2018 AI 100
2017 AI 100