Startups that made the most out of the AI investment wave

By arvind |Email | Aug 21, 2018 | 8541 Views

For a term that came out in 1955 as a new field to computer, AI did not make much of a progress for the next 40-50 odd years, but in the last decade or so the AI industry saw a boom in the number of companies that are using it as well as the growth in the investment made by the companies. According to a research a greater than 300% increase in investment in AI has been seen in the year 2017 compared with 2016. There is no denying in the fact that AI is the jewel that companies want in their crown. The big companies and many start-ups have restructured the way of working and have shifted their focus in AI being their workhorse in tandem with their employees. Some AI start-ups have got significant investments made in them are on the stairs of being a multi-billion dollar industry.  The start-up companies that are considered the big dogs of the field and have already become billion dollar companies with millions invested in them.

Valuation: $20 billion
Niche area: Content through Machine Learning
Founded in 2012 by Yiming Zhang, ByteDance is a Chinese media company headquartered in Beijing that provides content as well as content platforms to users through ML. Its AI-powered content platform Toutiao relies on social trends and delivers personalised content recommendations to users based on their individual interests. ByteDance is also the parent developer of popular AI mobile apps such as TopBuzz, News Republic, etc.
As of 2017, it had raised around $3.1 billion from various investors around the world. In 2016, ByteDance also invested in India's well-known e-news app Dailyhunt.

Valuation: $3 billion
Niche area: Computer vision, facial recognition software
SenseTime is an AI-company based in China, which chiefly develops computer vision and facial recognition solutions to its customers. It also has developed a DL supercomputing centre which is the largest in China. With a core focus in AI technologies such as image recognition, facial recognition, video analytics, SenseTime has major clients like Qualcomm, Huawei, Weibo amongst others.
Earlier this May, it bagged a $620 million Series C funding from leading investors like Fidelity International and Tiger Global, among others.

Valuation: $3 billion
Niche area: Cybersecurity through Machine learning and SaaS
CrowdStrike is a US-based cybersecurity tech company which provides endpoint protection services to companies around the globe. It was founded in 2011 by computer security experts George Kurtz and Dmitri Alperovitch, CrowdStrike integrates all its security solutions (antivirus, endpoint detection response and threat surveillance) in one platform called Falcon. On top of this, it has 27 patents in its portfolio. CrowdStrike is headquartered in San Francisco, US.
As of 2018, it has raised $200 million from venture capital firms Accel and General Atlantic.

Preferred Networks, Inc.
Valuation: $2 billion
Niche area: Deep learning services
Headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, Preferred Networks Inc is a tech company that provides DL solutions for three business domains i.e., transportation, manufacturing and healthcare. Established in 2014 by Toru Nishikawa and Daisuke Okanohara, Preferred Networks Inc majorly focuses on applying ML-based solutions to emerging tech like the internet of things. Apart from this, it also caters to research & development and data analytics.
In 2017, it received a ?¥2 billion funding from prominent Japanese companies Mitsui & Co and Hitachi, among others.

Valuation: $1.6 billion
Niche area: Advanced analytics and AI solutions, revenue optimisation
Established in 2007, Afiniti is an AI and advanced analytics provider based in Washington DC, US. It mainly aims at deriving enterprise profitability for firms through AI. Their platform Pair betterTM uses AI to identify and analyse patterns in human behaviour to bring up better connectivity and interaction amongst customers.
Afiniti serves a variety of sectors such as financial services, retail, airlines, telecommunications, among many others. By the end of 2017, the company raised around $80 million in a Series D funding.

Source: HOB