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.
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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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Table of contents
- 2020 AI 100 highlights
- Table of 2020 winners
- Methodology: CB Insights datasets
- Previous years’ winners (2017-2019)
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 Country BUILT Robotics Construction Robotic guidance United States ALICE Technologies Construction Schedule planning United States Korbit Education Personalized learning Canada Squirrel AI Learning Education Personalized learning China Invenia Energy Grid optimization Canada Beyond Limits Energy Oil & gas United States Tachyus Energy Oil & gas United States ComplyAdvantage Finance & insurance AML & KYC United Kingdom Featurespace Finance & insurance Anti-fraud United Kingdom Tractable Finance & insurance Claims processing United Kingdom HyperScience Finance & insurance Document processing United States Lemonade Finance & insurance Home & renters insurance United States Zesty.ai Finance & insurance Property & casualty insurance United States Benson Hill Food & agriculture Genomics platform United States Bowery Farming Food & agriculture Indoor farming United States NotCo Food & agriculture Ingredient discovery Chile Synapse Technology Government & city planning Checkpoint security United States Replica Government & city planning Commuter behavior modeling United States Mapillary Government & city planning Mapping Sweden Shield AI Government & city planning Unmanned systems United States AMP Robotics Government & city planning Waste recycling United States Recursion Pharmaceuticals Healthcare Biopharma (rare diseases) United States Eko Healthcare Cardiology United States Healthy.io Healthcare Consumer diagnostics Israel Zebra Medical Vision Healthcare Medical imaging Israel Atomwise Healthcare Drug R&D United States Cyclica Healthcare Drug R&D Canada OWKIN Healthcare Federated learning United States PAIGE.AI Healthcare Pathology United States Butterfly Network Healthcare Portable ultrasound United States ProteinQure Healthcare Protein therapeutics Canada Subtle Medical Healthcare Radiology image reconstruction United States Concerto HealthAI Healthcare Real world evidence United States Viz.ai Healthcare Stroke detection United States Lexion Legal Contract management United States DataProphet Manufacturing End-to-end solutions South Africa NavVis Manufacturing Indoor spatial mapping Germany Citrine Informatics Manufacturing Material discovery United States Noodle.ai Manufacturing Supply chain optimization United States Synthesia Technologies Media & entertainment Deepfakes United Kingdom Second Spectrum Media & entertainment Sports United States FanAI Media & entertainment Streaming, audience monetization United States WellSaid Labs Media & entertainment Synthetic voice United States Razor Labs Mining Predictive maintenance Israel Caspar.AI Real estate Smart home applications United States AiFi Retail & warehousing Checkout-free solution United States Grabango Retail & warehousing Checkout-free solution United States Standard Cognition Retail & warehousing Checkout-free solution United States The Yes Retail & warehousing E-commerce solutions United States Heuritech Retail & warehousing Trend prediction France Dorabot Retail & warehousing Warehouse automation China Covariant AI Retail & warehousing Warehouse automation United States Osaro Retail & warehousing Warehouse automation United States Faire Retail & warehousing Wholesale marketplace United States Metawave Telecom Antenna design United States DeepSig Telecom Signal processing United States Aurora Transportation Autonomous cars United States Voyage Transportation Autonomous cars United States TuSimple Transportation Autonomous trucking United States HoloMatic Transportation AV software China iSee Transportation AV software United States Loadsmart Transportation Freight management United States Ghost Locomotion Transportation Highway driving United States KONUX Transportation Railway maintenance Germany Graphcore Cross-industry tech AI processors United Kingdom Kneron Cross-industry tech AI processors United States Lightmatter Cross-industry tech AI processors United States Syntiant Cross-industry tech AI processors United States Xanadu Cross-industry tech AI processors Canada DarwinAI Cross-industry tech AI model development Canada DataRobot Cross-industry tech AI model development United States H2O.ai Cross-industry tech AI model development United States PerceptiLabs Cross-industry tech AI model development Sweden dotData Cross-industry tech AI model development United States Algorithmia Cross-industry tech DevOps & model monitoring United States ArthurAI Cross-industry tech DevOps & model monitoring United States Snyk Cross-industry tech DevOps & model monitoring United Kingdom AInnovation Cross-industry tech NLP, NLG, & computer vision China Hugging Face Cross-industry tech NLP, NLG, & computer vision United States Primer Cross-industry tech NLP, NLG, & computer vision United States Sherpa Cross-industry tech NLP, NLG, & computer vision Spain Affectiva Cross-industry tech NLP, NLG, & computer vision United States Blue Hexagon Cross-industry tech Cybersecurity United States Obsidian Security Cross-industry tech Cybersecurity United States SentinelOne Cross-industry tech Cybersecurity United States Onfido Cross-industry tech Cybersecurity (ID verfication) United Kingdom Abnormal Security Cross-industry tech Cybersecurity United States C3.ai Cross-industry tech BI & operational intel United States ClimaCell Cross-industry tech BI & operational intel United States Falkonry Cross-industry tech BI & operational intel United States Cresta Cross-industry tech Sales & CRM United States Integrate.ai Cross-industry tech Sales & CRM Canada Zhuiyi Technology Cross-industry tech Sales & CRM China Deeplite Cross-industry tech Other R&D Canada 4Paradigm Cross-industry tech Other R&D China InstaDeep Cross-industry tech Other R&D United Kingdom Kyndi Cross-industry tech Other R&D United States Nnaisense Cross-industry tech Other R&D Switzerland HACARUS Cross-industry tech Other R&D Japan SparkCognition Cross-industry tech Other R&D United States
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
This report was created with data from CB Insights’ emerging technology insights platform, which offers clarity into emerging tech and new business strategies through tools like:
- Earnings Transcripts Search Engine & Analytics to get an information edge on competitors’ and incumbents’ strategies
- Patent Analytics to see where innovation is happening next
- Company Mosaic Scores to evaluate startup health, based on our National Science Foundation-backed algorithm
- Business Relationships to quickly see a company’s competitors, partners, and more
- Market Sizing Tools to visualize market growth and spot the next big opportunity