The new wave of artificial intelligence applications, fueled by a combination of big data and processing capabilities, have garnered over $15B in funding to AI startups in just the last 5 years. Even as investors employ their own due diligence to gauge the “AI-ness” of a startup, new companies are continuing to enter the space at an unprecedented rate.
As one measure of internal R&D efforts of companies and innovation in the space, we analyzed the patent application activity of startups on our AI list. We analyzed over 1,150 active AI startups (that have not exited) and found that only 21% of the startups applied for a US patent since 2009 (note: there is a lag in publishing applications, so patent data from 2014 to present is still processing). Only 11% have been granted at least one patent in the United States since 2009. The data is as of 4/17/17.