A daily newsletter summarizing recent activity & interesting start-ups globally 

RECENT NOTABLE ACTIVITY – ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE

  • CloudMinds, a China-based company developing AI-enabled cloud intelligence platform for autonomous systems raised $100M in a series A round of funding. Link
  • Kensho, a Cambridge-based startup which provides an AI-enabled analytics platform to financial institutes, raised $50M in Series B round of funding led by S&P Global and backed by Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup, and Wells Fargo. Link
  • Evolv, an AI-enabled physical security system provider raised $18M in Series B round of funding from General Catalyst, Lux Capital, Gates Ventures and Data Collective. Link
  • Celect, a provider of predictive analytics and inventory optimization solutions for retailers, raised $10M in Series B round of funding led by Activant Capital with participation from Fung Capital and August Capital. Link
  • LoopMe, a London-based digital advertising firm that uses artificial intelligence to optimize mobile video advertising, raised $10M in Series B round of funding from Impulse VC, Harbert European Growth Capital, Holzbrinck Ventures and Open Ocean Capital. Link
  • Shumei, a China-based provider of AI-enabled anti-fraud technology solutions, raised $10M in series A round of funding led by Shunwei Capital and Baidu Ventures and backed by Crystal Stream and Qihoo 360 Technology. Link
  • Belong, a Bangalore-based provider of AI-enabled hiring platform raised $10M in Series B round of funding led by Sequoia Capital India, with participation from Matrix Partners India. Link
  • Voysis, a Dublin-based provider of voice-enabled conversation AI platform, raised $8M in Series A funding round led by Polaris Partners. Link
  • Fortscale Security, a developer of machine learning-based insider threat detection solutions, raised $7M in Series B round of funding led by Evolution Equity Partners and Valor Capital Group and backed by Intel Capital, Blumberg Capital, Swarth, CME ventures and UST Global. Link
  • LawGeex, an Israel-based AI-enabled contract review platform for businesses, raised $7M in Series A round of funding from Recruit Holdings, Lool Ventures, and LionBird. Link
  • Clinc, a provider of open source machine learning platform ‘Lucida’ and virtual financial assistant ‘Finie’, raised $6.3M in Series A round of funding from Drive Capital, Hyde Park Venture Partners, and Stuart Porter. Link
  • Falkonry, an AI-enabled Industrial IoT pattern recognition company, raised $5.3M funding from Zetta Venture Partners, Polaris Partners, and Start Smart Labs. Link
  • Endor, an Israel-based MIT spin-off predictive analytics startup, raised $5M in a Seed round of funding led by Eric Schmidt’s Innovation Endeavors and Marker LLC. Link
  • Cloud.IQ, an AI-enabled conversion rate optimization platform for e-commerce, raised $4.8M in Series A round of funding, led by Nauta Capital and backed by Armada Ventures. Link
  • Amper Music, an artificial intelligence based music composition platform, raised $4M in funding led by Two Sigma Ventures with participation from Foundry Group, Kiwi Venture Partners, Advancit Capital and Brooklyn Bridge Ventures. Link
  • Utrip, a Seattle-based provider of AI-enabled personalised travel-planning platform, raised $4M in Series A round of funding from Plug and Play, Tiempo Capital, Acorn Ventures, SWAN Venture Fund, W&W Capital and angel investors Gary Wipfler, Richard Galanti, Ken Alterman, H. S. Wright III, Carla Murray, Craig Schafer and Neal Dempsey. Link
  • ObEN, an AI startup which provides a platform to build personal 3D avatars, raised an undisclosed amount of Series A round of funding from SoftBank Ventures Korea (SBVK). Link
  • Revcontent, a provider of content recommendation platform, acquired Rover, a machine learning based content recommendation solutions provider. Link
  • Genpact, a global business process management and IT services provider acquired Rage Frameworks, provider of an AI-enabled knowledge-based automation technology and services for the Enterprise. Link
  • Relayr, a Germany-based Enterprise Internet-of-Things (IoT) platform provider, acquired Neokami, a Germany–based artificial intelligence based data security company. Link

SOME INTERESTING STARTUPS FOUND

Silk Labs (2015, San Mateo) – Provides on device deep learning platform for real-time visual and audio recognition.
Floyd hub (2016, SF) – PaaS for training and deploying deep learning models on cloud.
Deepen AI (2017, Sunnyvale) – Stealth mode startup developing deep learning solutions for edge devices.

LEADER BOARD – ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE

Infrastructure – Machine Intelligence Systems
MIS – Machine Learning
Data Robot (2012, Boston, $57M) – Provides a machine learning platform for predictive analysis. Backed by Techstars, New Enterprise Associates, Intel Capital.
H2O.ai (2012, Mountain View, $31M) – Provides an open source machine learning platform for pattern detection and prediction. Backed by Nexus Venture Partners, Transamerica Ventures, Paxion Capital Partners and others.

MIS – Deep Learning
Sentient (2007, SF, $144M) – Operates distributed AI on large scale systems for finance and medical sectors. Backed by Tata Group, Access Industries, and Horizon Ventures.
DeepMind (2011, London, $50M, Acq.) – Combines techniques from machine learning and neuroscience to build general-purpose learning algorithms. Backed by Founders Fund, Horizons Ventures, and others. Acquired by Google for $500M in 2014.

MIS – Cognitive Learning
Vicarious (2010, SF, $72M) – Provides machine learning software based on neocortex learning. Backed by Open Field Capital, Felicis Ventures, Founders Fund.
Numenta (2005, Redwood City, $30M) – Working on development of machine intelligence software based on the principles of New-Cortex.

Infrastructure – NLP
NLP – Speech Solutions
Tellme (1999, Mountain View, $107M, Acq.) – Develops AI-based technology for Speech Recognition, enabling people to use the phone to get the information they need. Backed by AT&T, Benchmark Capital, KPCB, SV Angel. Acquired by Microsoft for $800M in 2007.
Promptu (2000, Menlo Park, $17M) – Platform for making voice powered applications. Backed by Steelpoint Capital Partners, Lauder Partners.

NLP – Text Solutions
Idibon (2012, SF, $7M) – Provides Text analytics solutions. Backed by Khosla Ventures, Morningside Ventures, Inventec, Samsung Venture Investment, Altpoint Capital Partners, Morningside venture Capital.
Cortical (2011, Vienna, $5M) – Provides Text analytics solutions. Backed by Open Field Capital and Reventon.

NLP – NLP Platforms
Nuance Communications (1992, Burlington, IPO) – Provides speech recognition solutions for consumers, businesses to control devices.Backed by  Intel, Mayfield, Rembrandt Venture Partners, Goldman Sachs, Morgenthaler, U.S Venture Partners, Motorola, Asset Management Ventures, Alloy Ventures, Attractor Ventures, Canvas Ventures, F-Prime Capital Partners. IPO in 2000.
Expert System  (2000, Modena, IPO) – Provides semantic business intelligence solutions. Backed by IMI Fondi Chiusi SGR. IPO in 2014.

Infrastructure – Computer Vision
Computer Vision – Face Recognition
Megvii (2011, Beijing, $145M) – Provides face recognition API which developers can apply to their own websites, mobile Apps. Backed by Sinovation Ventures, Qiming Ventures, Foxconn Electronics, Legend Star, Ant Group, Comet Labs.
SenseTime (2014, Hong Kong, $130M) – Provides face recognition API which developers can apply to their own websites, mobile Apps. Backed by IDG Capital Partners, CDH Investments, Dalian Wanda Group.

Computer Vision – Object Recognition
Clarifai (2013, NYC, $41M) – Deep learning based image & video recognition API provider. Backed by Union Square Ventures, Qualcomm Ventures, New York University, NVIDIA, GV, Menlo Ventures, Lux Capital, Osage University Partners, Osage Partners, LDV Group, LDV Capital, Corazon Capital.
Cortica (2007, Ramat Gan, $38M) – Developers of image recognition technology to comprehend visual data on the web. Backed by Horizons Ventures, Mail.Ru Group.

Infrastructure – Autonomous Systems
CloudMinds  (2015, Shenzhen, $130M) – Provides autonomous robot enablers. Backed by Walden International, Shenzhen Capital Group, SBCVC, Foxconn Electronics, Venustech, Keytone Ventures, Bojang Capital Management, Kaixuan Capital.
Neurala (2006, Cambridge, $16M) – Develops software for drone and robot autonomy. Backed by Motorola Solutions, Techstars, Orkos Capital, Pelion Venture Partners, SK Ventures, 360 Capital Partners, Right Side Capital Management, Idinvest Partners, Robolution Capital, Sherpa Capital, Draper Associates, Haiyin Capital.
NetraDyne (2015, Bangalore, $16M) – Provides deep-learning-based computer vision platform for drone and automotive navigation. Backed by Reliance Industries.

Infrastructure – Enabling Technologies
Enabling Technologies – Hardware
Mobileye (1999, Jerusalem, IPO, Acq.) – Develops computer vision-based advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS). Backed by Fidelity Investments, Goldman Sachs, Motorola Solutions, BlackRock, Enterprise, Colmobil Corp., The Delek Group, Eldan Car Rental, First International Bank of Israel, Wellington Management, Sailing Capital. Acquired by Intel for $15.3B in 2017.
KnuEdge (2005, San Diego, $100M) – Provides Voice recognition and Machine intelligence solutions. Backed by Hasso Plattner Ventures.

Enabling Technologies – Software
Trifacta (2012, SF, $76M) – Provides data preparation solutions. Backed by Accel Partners, Greylock Partners, Infosys, XSeed Capital, Data Collective, Ignition Partners, Cathay Capital, Milliways Ventures, Cathay Innovation.
Mighty AI (2014, Seattle, $27M) – Provides Training Data as a Service for AI algorithms. Backed by  Accenture, NEA, Foundry Group, Intel Capital, GV, Madrona Venture Group.

Applications – Enterprise
Enterprise – BI & Analytics – Business Intelligence
Palantir (2004, Palo Alto, $2.32B) – Intelligence products to augment human-driven analysis for critical government, commercial and non-profit institutions. Backed by Founders Fund, In-Q-Tel, 137 Ventures, ARTIS Ventures, Glynn Capital Management, Reed Elsevier Ventures, Ulu Ventures, Mithril Capital Management, Benjamin Ling, Keith Rabois, Jeremy Stoppelman.
Ayasdi (2008, Palo Alto, $108M) – Machine Intelligence platform for insight discovery from large data sets. Backed by Floodgate, Citibank, General Electric, Institutional Venture Partners, Khosla Ventures, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Draper Nexus, Centerview Capital Technology.

Enterprise – BI & Analytics – Social Media Intelligence
Dataminr (2009, NYC, $175M) – Products for real-time extraction of insights from social media data aimed at Media, Finance, and Government sectors. Backed by Carissa St Clair, Box Group, Venrock, Institutional Venture Partners, GSV Capital, Deep Fork Capital, Fidelity Investments.
DataSift (2010, Reading, $70M) – Enables companies to aggregate, filter and extract insights from the billions of public social conversations. Backed by Daher Capital, IA Ventures, and others.

Enterprise – Sales
InsideSales (2004, Provo, $251M) – Predictive and Prescriptive self-learning cloud-based platform for management. Backed by Hummer Winblad Venture Partners, US Venture Partners, Zetta Venture Partners, EPIC Ventures, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Polaris Partners, Salesforce, Microsoft.
EverString (2012, San Mateo, $79M) – Predictive analytics platform helps B2B companies to identify and engage sales leads and new clients. Backed by Danhua Capital, IDG Capital Partners, and others.

Enterprise – Marketing
Bloomreach (2009, Mountain View, $97M) – Customer Analytics and site optimization Intelligence Platform based on machine learning. Backed by Bain Capital Ventures, Chris P.C., New Enterprise Associates, Lightspeed Venture Partners.
Persado  (2012, NYC, $66M) – Provides machine learning based Marketing Optimization platform. Backed by American Express, Goldman Sachs, Bain Capital Ventures, Citi, Eastward Capital Partners, StarVest Partners, TLcom Capital.

Enterprise – Security & Surveillance
Cylance (2012, Irvine, $177M) – Next generation antivirus, Cylance Protect which combines pre-detection, machine learning, and secure design lifecycle solutions. Backed by Khosla Ventures, Fairhaven Capital Partners, Blackstone Group, Dell Ventures, Capital One Financial Corp, DFJ Growth.
Darktrace (2013, Cambridge, $105M) – Enterprise immune systems solutions powered by Bayesian mathematics and machine learning. Backed by Summit Partners, SoftBank, KKR, Hoxton Ventures, Talis Capital, Invoke Capital, Ten Eleven Ventures, Isomer Capital.

Applications – Industry
Industry – Healthcare & Pharma
iCarbonX (2015, Shenzhen, $215M) – Platform to analyze omic data. Backed by Tencent, China Bridge Capital, Zhongyuan Union Stem Cell Bioengineering.
Zymergen (2013, Emeryville, $174M) – Provides solutions for industrial microbiology to engineer industrial microbes. Backed by SoftBank, AME Cloud Ventures, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, True Ventures, Innovation Endeavors, Data Collective, Iconiq Capital, Obvious Ventures, Two Sigma Ventures, Linden Mobile Ventures, Mission Bay Capital, HVF Labs, Prelude Ventures, Tao Capital Partners.

Industry – Fintech
ThreatMatrix (2005, San Jose, $92M) – Provides Fraud prevention & context-based authentication solution. Backed by US Venture Partners, Silicon Valley Bank, Adams Street Partners, Tenaya Capital, August Capital, Technology Venture Partners, In-Q-Tel, Talu Ventures.
FraudMetrix (2013, Hangzhou, $85M) – Provides internet security for financial transactions. Backed by IDG Capital Partners, CBC Capital, China Growth Capital, Oriza Holdings, Qiming Venture Partners, Linear Venture, China Growth Capital.

Industry – Transport
Zoox (2013, Menlo Park, $290M) – Stealth Mode Robo Taxi Startup. Backed by Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Lux Capital, Blackbird Ventures, AID Partners.
Cruise Automation (2013, SF, $18M, Acq.) – Developing Advanced driver assistance systems(ADAS). Backed by Y Combinator, Qualcomm Ventures, Spark Capital, Felicis Ventures, Signia Venture Partners, Draper Associates, Homebrew, Maven Ventures, Draper Associates. Acquired by General Motors for $1B in 2016.

Industry – Advertising
RocketFuel (2008, Redwood City, IPO) – Programmatic media-buying platform that harnesses the power of artificial intelligence to predict the right time for placement of an ad.  Backed by Mohr Davidow Ventures, Labrador Ventures, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, DLA Piper, MF Capital, Nokia Growth Partners, Northgate Capital, Summit Partners, Cross Creek Capital, Comerica Bank. IPO in 2013.
QuantCast (2006, SF, $62M) – Provides a data intelligence platform, utilizing big data and machine learning to provide advertising solutions. Backed by Founders Fund, Glynn Capital Management, Polaris Partners, and others.

Industry – Education
Knewton (2008, NYC, $157M) – Adaptive learning technology provider for personalized learning. The adaptive learning platform consolidates data science, statistics, psychometrics, content graphing, machine learning, tagging, and infrastructure in one place in order to enable personalization at massive scale. Backed by Accel Partners, First Round Capital, Bessemer Venture Partners, FirstMark Capital, Founders Fund, Pearson, Atomico, GSV Capital, Silicon Valley Bank.
Declara (2012, Palo Alto, $30M) – Free social learning platform which connects people to a large amount of content using machine learning algorithms. Backed by Founders Fund, Data Collective, EDB Investments.

Industry – Agriculture
The Climate Corporation (2006, SF, $109M, Acq.) – Underwrites weather insurance for farmers based on predictive insights extracted using machine learning platform from historical weather data, soil observations, and other data sources.Backed by Founders Fund, Google Ventures, New Enterprise Associates, CODE Advisors, Allen & Company, Anthemis Group, Felicis Ventures, Glynn Capital Management, Khosla Ventures, SV Angel, Joshua Schachter, Howard Morgan, Index Ventures. Acquired by Monsanto for $930M in 2013.
BlueRiverTechnologies (2011, Sunnyvale, $30M) – Blue River Technology, uses computer vision and robotics in fields for yield optimization, elimination of weeds and unwanted plants. Backed by Khosla Ventures, Innovation Endeavors, Data Collective, Stanford A&E, Ulu Ventures.

Industry – Legal
FiscalNote (2013, Washington D.C., $28M) – Real-Time Government Regulations Analysis Platform. Backed by NEA, AME Cloud Ventures, University of Maryland, Dorm Room Fund, Plug, and Play Tech Center, Middleland Capital, Winklevoss Capital, Renren, Conversion Capital, GIC, Green Visor Capital, Visionnaire Ventures, 645 Ventures, SF Capital, Fresh, QueensBridge Venture Partners, Perle Ventures, Enspire Capital.
LexMachina (2009, Menlo Park, $10M, Acq.) – Provides IP Litigation Data and Analytics. Backed by XSeed Capital, Costanoa Venture Capital and Cue Ball. It was acquired by LexisNexis in Nov 2015.

Applications – Consumer
Consumer – Virtual Assistant
Viv Labs (2012, San Jose, $30M, Acq.) – Developing advanced conversational interfaces and assistants. Backed by Horizons Ventures, Pritzker Group, Iconiq Capital, the OS Fund. Acquired by Samsung in 2013.
Siri (2007, San Jose, $24M, Acq.) – Intelligent virtual assistant that has a natural language interface to answer questions, make recommendations and perform actions by delegating requests to web services. Backed by Morgenthaler Ventures, Menlo Ventures, SRI International, Horizons Ventures.Acquired by Apple in 2010.

Consumer – Intelligent Devices
Roobo (2014, Beijing, $100M) – Develops intelligent robots, VR and UAVs. Backed by iFLYTEK.
Jibo (2012, Boston, $68M) – Develops intelligent social robot. Backed by Charles River Ventures, Flybridge Capital Partners, RRE Ventures, Fenox Venture Capital, Fairhaven Capital, Formation 8, Osage Partners, Acer, KDDI Corporation, LG U Plus, Samsung Venture Investment, Global Brain, Netposa Technologies, Dentsu Ventures.

Leaderboard includes all the top funded, IPO and successfully running bootstrapped companies along with their location, founding year and funding amount.

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