Amid a turbulent year for the tech sector, one that has brought layoffs, funding pullbacks and the failure of the industry's favorite bank, artificial intelligence has emerged as a bright spot.
Investors are pouring billions of dollars into AI startups in what is quickly becoming the latest tech gold rush. Leading the AI revolution is OpenAI, a startup from Sam Altman that created the fast-growing artificial intelligence chatbot ChatGPT, which this year reached 100 million monthly active users. Microsoft has a multibillion dollar stake in OpenAI, which is powering Microsoft's new Bing search engine.
AI, expected to be a multitrillion dollar industry by 2030, was a major focus at this year's SXSW. In February, San Francisco held its first generative AI conference, and Salesforce recently launched a $250 million fund to invest directly in generative AI startups.
But beyond OpenAI, American Inno set out to identify other artificial intelligence startups making waves in the tech industry. Some, like OpenAI, are building generative AI, a type of artificial intelligence that can create text, images and other data in response to your prompts. Others are using AI to power autonomous vehicles, track the Chinese balloon from satellite images or improve health care.
The Bay Area is ground zero for AI innovation in the U.S., but AI startups are sprouting up across the country, catching the eye of investors and customers looking to ride the AI wave. To spotlight some AI heavy hitters, as well as some under-the-radar artificial intelligence firms, American Inno compiled our first-ever list of Startups to Watch in AI, a collection of 35 companies you need to know.
The team at San Francisco-based Adept AI Labs is developing generative AI technology that can do business tasks on request.
Adept AI Labs
Led by CEO David Luan, who previously ran a program at Google that developed large machine learning models, Adept is a generative AI startup to help people operate computers with text commands. It aims to let users simply type their commands, helping them work more efficiently across multiple programs. Adept raised $350 million in a Series B round in March.
Seattle startup Aiberry offers an artificial intelligence-powered mental health screening tool. Patients can use the tool on their smartphone or laptop, and the AI analyzes factors like tone of voice, facial expression and words to provide a mental health assessment. The aim is to save clinicians time and provide a more objective measure of patients' mental health compared with paper-based forms. Aiberry has raised $10 million to date.
Hawaiian startup Ai.Fish uses artificial intelligence and computer vision to analyze fishing activity on boats. It has a variety of use cases within the marine industry, including counting seals with camera traps, helping to identify coral and counting boats. It’s backed by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.
Anthropic CEO Dario Amodei
Anthropic, a generative AI startup led by former OpenAI employee Dario Amodei, is creating an AI chatbot named “Claude” that’s widely considered an OpenAI competitor. The startup raised a $300 million round in February led by Google.
Asapp builds AI software that automates call centers. Through automated chat systems, call transcripts and other customer support services. The startup has raised $400 million to date and counts large firms like American Airlines and JetBlue among its customers.
Orlando startup Care.ai’s artificial intelligence-powered sensors and monitoring platform enable smart, real-time patient monitoring in hospitals, nursing homes and assisted-living communities. Care.ai’s technology is in use in 1,500 U.S. facilities. It raised a $27 million funding round late last year.
CollX founders Kostas Nasis (left) and Ted Mann.
Philadelphia-based sports card startup Collx allows users to scan their trading cards and, using computer-vision AI technology, searches through a database of millions of cards to tell users how much their card is worth. Some 100 million cards have been scanned to date. It raised $5.5 million this year from investors, including David Adelman, the co-owner of the 76ers.
Rhode Island startup DeLorean AI’s technology can help predict the onset, transition and best next actions for chronic illnesses such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and kidney disease. Founder Severance MacLaughlin said that DeLorean AI is currently processing 35 million patients a day.
Chicago biotech startup Evozyne has developed an AI model it says will revolutionize development of new therapeutic proteins and reduce the time it takes to bring new drugs to market. The company, which has raised more than $60 million in funding, is led by CEO Mike Gamson, who previously held stints at LinkedIn and legal-tech firm Relativity.
Flamel.ai, an AI-generated content design studio in Cincinnati, aims to make social media marketing easier for businesses. Led by CEO Paul Ehlinger, a former investor at Allos Ventures, the startup uses AI to let users create Facebook and Instagram posts, and will eventually offer the ability to make radio ads and TikTok videos. It raised $2 million earlier this year.
Generate Biomedicines co-founders and co-CEOs Avak Kahvejian, left, and Geoff Von Maltzahn.
Cambridge, Massachusetts-based startup Generate Biomedicines is using AI technology to treat a vast array of diseases. Generate's technology relies on machine learning to discover sequences of proteins. The firm plans not only to use existing, natural proteins to treat diseases but also to create entirely new proteins, including antibodies, peptides, enzymes and more. It raised a $370 million round in 2021.
Albany startup Helios Life Enterprises is using AI to analyze tone in speech. One use case is in the financial services industry, where its tech can be used to measure the confidence portrayed by CEOs during investor calls. Other uses could include marketing firms using its data to better understand consumer interest in a movie, or a salesperson could use it to gauge customer interest in a product. Its advisors include Donald Buckley, former chief marketing officer for Showtime Networks, and former NBA all-star Baron Davis.
Founded by a husband and wife team who previously worked at Apple, Humane is building an AI-powered consumer device. Details on thew startup are scarce, but the firm raised $100 million in funding in March from investors that include Microsoft and OpenAI CEO Sam Altman.
Dallas-based Inbenta creates conversational AI tools for businesses to handle customer support inquiries. The startup, which counts more than 250 brands across financial services, travel, e-commerce, insurance and more industries as customers, raised $40 million earlier this year.
Inflection AI, co-founded by LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman and founding DeepMind member Mustafa Suleyman, is building AI technology to help people work more efficiently with machines. The startup raised $225 million in funding earlier this month.
Dave Rogenmoser, CEO of Jasper
Generative AI startup Jasper is creating an AI marketing assistant capable of writing ad copy, blogs, and other web content. Founded just two years ago, the startup raised $125 million in October at a $1.5 billion valuation.
AI startup Magic.Dev wants to make it easier to write computer code. The company uses large language models like OpenAI's ChatGPT to develop software that can write lines of code based on a text prompt. The program is meant to make software engineers more efficient. The company has raised $28 million to date from investors including Alphabet’s CapitalG.
Columbus, Ohio-based startup Mantium built a platform that lets users plug into huge AI engines already on the market, and builds in automated security safeguards so a user can quickly build anything from a song to analysis of patient records. The company says it’s making AI easier to build with, while also making sure the future of AI has the appropriate safeguards. The startup raised $12.8 million in 2021 and is led by Ryan Sevey and Jason Montgomery, who sold their previous AI startup to Datarobot.
Netail is a spinout company from Google Brain co-founder Andrew Ng's Landing AI group. The Pittsburgh startup specializes in tracking consumer products across the internet using AI to then allow its retail customers to better optimize their prices against competitors in real time. It raised $5 million in funding last November.
Seattle startup OctoML, born out of research at the University of Washington, makes technology meant to improve its clients' machine learning models. OctoML automates the processes involved in getting a model ready to deploy. It has raised more than $130 million to date.
The Overjet team. (Image courtesy of Harvard i-lab)
Boston dental AI startup Overjet has built an AI tool called Dental Assist, which was the first-ever dental AI product to get FDA approval. It encodes disease identification and progression into software, helping dentists deliver patient care and insurers operate more accurately and efficiently. It raised a $42.5 million round in 2021.
Portland, Oregon, startup PreAct Technologies makes a suite of sensors and software for affordable Lidar solutions that can map a physical area quickly. Its initial market was in automotive driver assistance but it has since expanded into areas like health care, agriculture tech, smart cities and robotics. The startup raised $14 million in Series B funding earlier this year.
Chicago agtech startup Sabanto is using AI to create autonomous tractors. Sabanto says it can automate a variety of row crop field operations and has used tractors to to autonomously till, plant, seed, weed and mow farmland. It raised $17 million last year from investors including Johnsonville Ventures, the parent company of sausage maker Johnsonville.Satisfi Labs
Tampa Bay-based Satisfi Labs provides AI technology to organizations that is typically used in "How can I help you?" pop-ups on a company's app or website. It boasts more than 400 customers, including many sports and entertainment firms like the Tampa Bay Lightning, Toronto Raptors and NASCAR. The startup has raised $10.5 million since it launched in 2016.
San Francisco artificial intelligence data-management startup Scale AI has raised over $600 million since its founding in 2016. The Y Combinator startup, led by Alexandr Wang and Lucy Guo, was last valued at $7 billion in 2021. The startup uses machine learning to label and categorize big data so companies can feed it into AI models. Its customers include Harvard Medical School, PayPal, Brex, OpenAI and Toyota.
Maddie and Mike Bell are founders of scheduling app Scheduler AI.
Corrie Schaffeld / CBC
Cincinnati startup Scheduler AI, led by Mike and Maddie Bell, a husband and wife team with experience at Nielsen and P&G, is taking on Calendly with its own scheduling app. The scheduling startup’s AI software aims to find time for social gatherings, work meetings and appointments in seconds. Its goal is to offer frictionless scheduling, whether it be via text, email, Slack, LinkedIn or Teams, using either voice or written prompts. It raised $1 million last year.
SparkCognition, founded in 2013 and led by founder and CEO Amir Husain, was created to build specialized AI models to track things in the physical world, largely for big industrial clients. It has evolved a lot since then, including the 2021 opening of its HyperWerx lab for AI developers to train models on the physical world. The company recently announced its generative AI platform that can augment data with synthetic text, images, audio and other signals. It also said it is building industry-specific large language models to help summarize and make predictions, as well as generate content. The company has raised $300 million to date.
Stability AI, an open-source artificial intelligence company, developed text-to-image generator called Stable Diffusion that launched last year. The generative AI startup raised $101 million last year at a reported valuation of more than $1 billion. The company is also working on AI models for generating audio, language and video.
Wisconsin AI company Synthetaic is using artificial intelligence to help companies automatically detect objects in satellite images and other datasets. The startup, which raised $13 million last year, recently worked with the New York Times to detect and analyze the Chinese balloon in satellite images.
Elaheh Ahmadi is the co-founder of Themis AI.
Boston startup Themis wants to take the bias out of AI. The company, led by MIT grad Elaheh Ahmadi, is developing a de-biasing algorithm for artificial intelligence that looks at AI models and data sets and identifies the risks or biases. It automatically detects sources of bias and then trains the AI to remove the bias. The company raised $2 million in an early round of funding.
Miami startup Togal AI uses artificial intelligence to automate the construction estimate process. Its machine learning automatically measures the square footage of a space with 97% accuracy to help contractors like electricians and plumbers make estimates, a manual process that can take weeks, the company says. The startup recently raised $5 million in pre-seed funding.
Tome is a maker of artificial intelligence-powered software that automatically generates presentations. Led by Henri Liriani and Keith Peiris, former managers at Meta, the company raised $43 million in February. It claims to be the fastest productivity software tool to ever reach 1 million users, having only launched last September.
Typeface uses generative AI to make text and images for marketing. The startup is backed by Google and Microsoft, which both invested in Typeface's $65 million Series A round in February. Founded and led by Abhay Parasnis, the former chief technology officer of Adobe, Typeface has developed an AI software called Blends that helps companies create ad copy, press releases, social media posts and more.
Scottsdale, AZ-based bookkeeping automation startup Uplinq uses machine-learning and artificial intelligence technologies take transaction and other financial data for clients, integrating with financial institutions, payroll software and other resources to give weekly financial reports and real-time analyses that business owners can use in their decision-making. It raised $5.6 million last year from investors including members of the Kuwaiti royal family.
Argo AI founders Peter Rander, left, and Bryan Salesky.
Bryan Salesky and Peter Rander, the co-founders of self driving car startup Argo AI, are behind a new AI startup that’s working on autonomous driving options for the trucking industry. The so-far unnamed startup has grown to 50 employees and has raised an undisclosed amount of outside funding. Argo AI shut down last October and was absorbed by its backers, Ford and Volkswagen.