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10 new AI unicorns flying high in 2022

 

AI unicorns flying high in 2022

 

 

While venture capital deals in technology may be winding down, investment in startups that use artificial intelligence (AI) is booming. IDC expects that by 2024, investments in AI research and applications would reach $500 billion, and PwC projects that by 2030, AI will have a $15.7 trillion economic impact on the world.

 

Therefore, it should come as no surprise that a large portion of the 206 new “unicorns” for 2022—privately held firms with a valuation of over $1 billion—are in the fields of artificial intelligence and machine learning.

 

Here is a look at ten AI companies from the newest unicorn cohort that are soaring in 2022:

 

Abnormal Security

 

Business: Uses behavioral AI to fight email attacks

 

Based in: San Francisco, California

 

Founded: 2018

 

Became a unicorn: May 2022

 

Abnormal Security, a cloud-native email security product, leverages behavioral AI to examine identity, content, and context. To stop all types of email threats, including business email compromise, supply chain fraud, ransomware, phishing, spam, and graymail, it uses more than 45,000 signals from cloud email systems.

 

According to Abnormal Security’s CEO Evan Reiser, “modern attacks, including business email compromise, supply chain compromise, account takeovers, and more, are difficult to detect because they typically contain no traditional indicators of compromise, evading legacy email security solutions like the secure email gateway.”

 

Abnormal Security makes use of AI to recognize suspicious email messages, identify bad actors, and stop them before they can do any harm. It implies that businesses don’t require their staff to be security conscious enough to recognize phishing risks on their own.

 

According to Abnormal Security, as of May, its clientele increased by 270 percent and now includes businesses like Xerox, Hitachi Vantara, and Urban Outfitters.

 

Anthropic

 

Business: Protecting large-scale AI systems

 

Based in: San Francisco, California

 

Year founded: 2021

 

Became a unicorn: April 2022

 

Dario Amodei, a former vice president of research at OpenAI, launched Anthropic with the intention of making AI easier to understand. In just one year, it has raised an astounding $704 million from investors like Skype cofounder Jaan Talinn and former Google CEO Eric Schmidt. With ambitions to hire more this year, it now employs more than 40 people.

 

According to a press release, Anthropic will use the most recent funding to “build large-scale experimental infrastructure to explore and improve the safety properties of computationally intensive AI models.” Anthropic describes itself on its website as a “AI safety and research company that’s working to build reliable, interpretable, and steerable AI systems.”

 

“With this fundraise, we’re going to explore the predictable scaling properties of machine learning systems, while closely examining the unpredictable ways in which capabilities and safety issues can emerge at scale,” said Anthropic cofounder and CEO Dario Amodei in the press release. “We’ve made strong initial progress on understanding and steering the behavior of AI systems, and are gradually assembling the pieces needed to make usable, integrated AI systems that benefit society.”

 

Cresta

 

Business: Conversational AI to mentor customer service agents

 

Based in: San Francisco, California

 

Founded in: 2017

 

Became a unicorn: March 2022

 

Cresta, an AI-powered platform with a client list that includes Intuit, Adobe, and Dropbox, was officially launched last year. It provides real-time assistance to enable customer service employees react to enquiries on calls or in chats.

 

As stated in March by Zayd Enam, CEO and cofounder of Cresta, customer service is more than just the “stinky armpit” of enterprises. Zoom, Five9, and Genesys have invested in the San Francisco-based Cresta.

 

According to Zayd Enam, CEO and cofounder of Cresta, “what elevates Cresta is its ability to provide beneficial, real-time analytics to customer service agents that help them determine the sentiment of the person they are interacting with, making them and their teams up to 50% to 100% more effective.” “The extra funds will be utilized to develop capabilities that gather even more detailed information about what callers are saying,” the statement continued.

 

In a recent research, Aragon Research stated that Cresta’s real-time agent assistance features, which include sentiment analysis coupled with a full range of artificial intelligence functions, such as objection management, intent, and knowledge base lookup, are “what makes Cresta hot.”

 

Hugging Face

 

Business: Open source and platform provider of machine learning technologies

 

Based in: Brooklyn, NY

 

Founded in: 2016

 

Became a unicorn: May 2022

 

Hugging Face, a platform for community-driven machine learning (ML), joined the unicorn club in 2022 after announcing $100 million in new funding in May to continue developing what many, including CEO Clement Delangue, refer to as the “GitHub of machine learning.”

 

He told VentureBeat, “I think that’s an accurate description. “A new platform that defines a new category is developing every new technology. It appears that we are transitioning from being the software platform GitHub to the machine learning platform.

 

Hugging Face, a natural language processing (NLP) technology developer that was founded in 2016, has transformed into an open-source library and community platform that offers well-known NLP models like BERT, GPT-2, T5, and DistilBERT. It is now a hub and community for ML models, moving beyond NLP.

 

“We’ve seen the emergence of a new generation of machine learning architecture called transformers, which is based on transfer learning,” Delangue said. “Most of the users of this new generation of models are using them through our platform. It all started with text, but now it’s starting to make its way into all machine learning domains, which is a new development for machine learning tools.”

 

Invoca

 

Business: AI-powered call tracking and conversational analytics

 

Based in: Santa Barbara, California

 

Founded in: 2007

 

Became a unicorn: June 2022

 

Invoca, a popular cloud-based conversation intelligence firm with AI at its core that targets contact centers, is the newest 2022 AI unicorn after announcing an additional $83 million in investment earlier this month.

 

Gregg Johnson, CEO of Invoca, stated in a press release that “consumers often escalate from digital self-service to speak with a person expert when they look for value-added knowledge in buying the proper product or addressing an urgent service issue.” At Invoca, we link these digital journeys with interactions in the contact center using data, automation, and AI to help organizations create a pleasurable experience, increase revenue, and fortify customer relationships.

 

The business disclosed in March that its revenue increased by more than 70% over the previous year. The Forrester Wave: Conversation Intelligence: Sales And Marketing, Q4 2021 study recognized Invoca as one of the top 10 leaders in the sector and announced that the company had completed its first acquisition (DialogTech, dollar-weighted customer retention). According to the company, Invoca clients analyzed more than 1.5 billion consumer phone minutes in 2021 using the platform.

 

Mashgin

 

Business: Touchless self-checkout system

 

Based in: Palo Alto, California

 

Founded in: 2013

 

Became a unicorn: May 2022

 

Mashgin reported in May that it has raised $62.5 million in series B fundraising at a $1.5 billion post-series B value, making it a unicorn. Mashgin provides a touchless self-checkout system driven by AI and computer vision.

 

The Mashgin Touchless Checkout System quickly and accurately rings up items in a single transaction while recognizing them from almost any angle. For it to function properly, there is no requirement for barcodes, RFID, flawlessly constant packaging, or specific orientations.

 

According to Mukul Dhankhar, CTO and co-founder of Mashgin, “What sets Mashgin distinct is the diversity of products we can work with and the level of precision we’ve been able to achieve.” “Our technique is 99.9% accurate and works just as well with vegetables and food plates as it does with packaged goods. To do this, we use three-dimensional data to comprehend item size and shape better. We are also the retail computer vision product that is most ready for market.

 

Recently, the business revealed that Circle K, a retailer of convenience stores, would implement Mashgin’s technology in 7,000 of its locations over the following three years. “It is an exponentially tougher scale of problem to have a solution that works dependably in the real world across thousands of locations than having a pilot in a few stores,” said Dhankhar. “In that regard, we are years ahead of every rival in our industry. In order to continue providing excellent customer service as we develop across the US and Europe, our aim for the fundraising round is to expand our workforce.

 

Optibus

 

AI unicorns flying high in 2022

 

Business: AI-powered SaaS transit operations

 

Based in: Tel Aviv, Israel

 

Founded in: 2014

 

Became a unicorn: May 2022

 

The Tel Aviv-based Optibus, which provides an AI-powered end-to-end software platform for planning and operating public transportation, claims that the business is the first unicorn in the industry.

 

Since its establishment in 2014, Optibus has aided more than a thousand communities in addressing business difficulties by driving the sector’s digital transformation. With the introduction of Ridership Insights, Optibus now makes it possible for network designers to visualize and analyze ridership data directly on the map, providing them with a deeper understanding of how the city functions. The boarding and alighting data for each stop is included in the planners’ ridership KPIs, which may be easily viewed at the route, segment, or stop level or filtered by time and date. This vital information improves understanding of how the network is operating, leading to better routes that cater to passengers’ demands.

 

Amos Haggiag and Eitan Yanovsky, who formed Optibus, created the company’s basic technology in their free time while working on weekends and after hours. Haggiag’s father, the CFO of one of Israel’s biggest transit businesses, informed him about some of the issues that plague planning for mass transit.

 

“Many individuals are unaware of the intricate mathematical challenge that public transportation presents. According to computational complexity theory, it is actually one of the most difficult sorts of mathematical problems, or what is known as NP-hard, Haggiag told VentureBeat in 2021. Therefore, having strong algorithms is not only desirable but also necessary to swiftly determine how to manage the most effective transit networks.

 

SparkCognition

 

Business: Machine learning software to analyze increasingly complex data stores

 

Based in: Austin, Texas

 

Founded in: 2013

 

Became a unicorn: January 2022

 

Amir Husain formed SparkCognition in 2013 after founding Kurion, which developed branded web portals for businesses including Barnes & Noble, Dun & Bradstreet, and financial sector institutions. According to the company website, the startup “delivers enterprise scale AI solutions that enable enterprises to streamline processes, anticipate future outcomes, and prevent cyberattacks.”

 

The epidemic “has heightened our customers’ knowledge of the value AI can bring in the face of supply chain uncertainty, shifting demand for resources like oil and gas, and greater remote work,” Husain told Venturebeat in January. Using technology like artificial intelligence, machine learning, deep learning, natural language processing, and knowledge representation, he continued, the company adopts an end-to-end strategy.

 

He remarked, “We present these solutions in a user-friendly interface that provides insights and alerts when a process or asset requires attention and does it swiftly and simply.”

 

Uniphore

 

Business: Conversational automation

 

Based in: Palo Alto, California

 

Founded in: 2008

 

Became a unicorn: February 2022

 

According to a press release from the company, Umesh Sachdev and Ravi Saraogi created Uniphore in 2008 “with a mission to unleash the power of voice and assist overcome the digital divide, globally.”

 

Emotion Research Lab, which uses cutting-edge facial emotion recognition and eye-tracking technology to capture and analyze interactions via video in real-time, was bought by the company in January 2021. Additionally, it unveiled its Q for Sales solution last month. This program “leverages computer vision, tonal analysis, automatic speech recognition, and natural language processing to capture and make recommendations on the full emotional spectrum of sales conversations to increase close rates and sales team performance.”

 

Combining computer vision with voice-based emotion analytics “may become a critical differentiator for the company,” according to Gartner analyst Annette Zimmerman, who highlighted Uniphore in her competitive landscape analysis.

 

On Twitter, some experts have disputed Uniphore’s assertions, including computer scientist and infamously dismissed former Google employee Timnit Gebru. The company’s goal with Q for Sales, according to Patrick Ehlen, vice president of AI at Uniphore, “is to make virtual meetings more engaging, balanced, interactive, and valuable for all parties,” but he added that it’s important to call out that “meeting recordings and conversational intelligence applications have become mainstream in today’s business world.”

 

Viz AI

 

Business: AI-based platform for disease detection and healthcare coordination

 

Based in: San Francisco, California

 

Founded in: 2016

 

Became a unicorn: April 2022

 

Viz AI provides a suite of solutions for using medical imaging to diagnose a number of acute and emergent disorders, and it was co-founded in 2016 by neurosurgeon Chris Mansi, MD, MBA. The company was listed as one of the “Next Billion-Dollar Startups” by Forbes the previous year, and according to 2020 executives, they were the first to secure Medicare coverage for an AI algorithm.

 

Neurosurgeon Chris Mansi, MD, MBA, co-founded Viz AI in 2016, which offers a range of solutions for using medical imaging to diagnose a variety of acute and emergent disorders. The business was previously named one of Forbes’ “Next Billion-Dollar Startups,” and according to 2020 executives, they were the first to secure Medicare coverage for an AI algorithm.

 

Following the introduction of an AI-driven life science platform, the business announced its April fundraising round, claiming that it “revolutionizes the way medical device and pharmaceutical businesses conduct clinical trials and bring their medicines to market.”

 

Source: Venture Beat

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