Though deals to private artificial intelligence companies — excluding incubator/accelerator rounds — fell 10% in Q2’16, dollar funding reached an all-time high.
That was partly thanks to 3 $100M+ mega-rounds by companies using AI: a $154M Series A round went to China-based healthcare startup iCarbonX (with the participation of Tencent, Vcanbio), a $100M growth equity round was raised by New Jersey-based Fractal Analytics (from Khazanah Nasional Berhad), and there was a $100M Series D round raised by California-based cybersecurity unicorn Cylance (from investors including Blackstone Group, Insight Venture Partners, and Khosla Ventures).
Our AI category includes companies applying AI solutions to verticals like healthcare, security, advertising, and finance as well as those developing general-purpose AI tech.
Nearly 70% of the deals went to startups in the United States in Q2’16. A majority of the startups raising funds were still in their early-stages: Nearly 60% of the deals went to startups raising seed/angel and Series A rounds, while mid-stage startups (Series B and C) received 12% of the deals.
Q2’16 deals outside United States
AI-focused startups in over 15 countries—including China, India, Sweden, Ukraine, France, Hong Kong, and Canada—raised equity funds last quarter. Canada and United Kingdom received 5% each of the total deals in Q2’16, followed closely by Israel and Germany. These were some of the key deals outside the US:
- GE Ventures participated in 2 Series C rounds raised by Canada-based Bit Stew Systems, a data analysis platform for the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).
- Lerer Hippeau Ventures, Bloomberg Beta, and Salesforce Ventures participated in a seed round raised by London-based DigitalGenius, which applies AI solutions to the customer service sector.
- In Israel, Alibaba Group participated in a Series A round raised by e-commerce search and discovery startup Twiggle, and investors including Khosla Ventures and Marc Benioff backed healthcare startup Zebra Medical Vision in a Series B round.
- New Enterprise Associates participated in a Series A round raised by Germany-based Konux, which provides AI-based sensor solutions to industries.
The chart below shows the distribution of deals outside the United States in Q2’16.
Most active VC investors
Lerer Hippeau Ventures (backed DigitalGenius, Poncho, and x.ai), Khosla Ventures (backed Zebra Medical Vision, Lumiata, and Cylance), and Bain Capital Ventures (backed Troo.ly, Persado, and Apixio) were the most active VC investors in the last quarter, Q2’16.
Looking over a longer timeframe, Khosla Ventures was also the most active investor overall in the last 5 years, having backed over 15 unique AI companies since 2011. Data Collective and Intel Capital tied for second-most active VC investor in AI.
The rankings below are based on unique companies invested in since Q1’11.
|Most Active VC Investors In AI Startups
|4||New Enterprise Associates|
|6||Plug and Play Ventures|
|11||Norwest Venture Partners|
|13||Two Sigma Ventures|
|13||Frost Data Capital|
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