Canada sees improvement from 2019 as eight Canadian startups appear on CB Insights’ AI 100

Xanadu

Eight Canadian artificial intelligence startups have made CB Insights’ AI 100, a marked difference from last year, which saw only one Canadian startup make the list.

The annual list highlights promising AI startups to watch around the world. Startups are picked from a roster of nearly 5,000, based on factors like patent activity, business relations, investor profile, news sentiment analysis, market potential, competitive landscape, team strength, and tech novelty.

“The 2019 AI 100 saw 48 companies go on to raise $4.9 billion of additional financing.”

“It’s been remarkable to see the success of the companies named to the AI 100 over the last four years,” said CB Insights CEO Anand Sanwal. “The 2019 AI 100 saw 48 companies go on to raise $4.9 billion of additional financing, and nine got acquired.”
 

PwC’s latest MoneyTree report, which included venture capital data for the full year 2019 from CB Insights, tracked increased investor attention in Canada’s AI sector. Last year’s funding to Canadian AI companies saw a 49 percent year-over-year increase to $658 million, with deal count reaching a new record at 57 deals.

Element AI, which was the only Canadian startup to make CB Insights’ the list in 2019, did not make an appearance this year. It’s unclear why the Montreal-based startup did not make the list, considering the company raised a $200 million equity round and launched some of its first products last year. Other companies that have appeared on previous years’ lists include Toronto-based Deep Genomics, which recently raised a $40 million Series B.

Among the eight startups that made CB Insights’ AI 100 for 2020 are:

“Since day one, the DarwinAI team has worked hard to help enterprises build AI they can trust,” said Sheldon Fernandez, CEO, DarwinAI. “Being named to the CB Insights AI 100 List of most innovative artificial intelligence startups validates our continued commitment to this important goal.”

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Xanadu experienced a year of growth in 2019, raising a $32 million Series A in June. The company uses photons, or particles of light, to perform exceptionally fast and complex computations at room temperature.

Another Canadian startup on CB Insights’ list was Toronto-based biotechnology company Cyclica, which teamed up with pharmaceutical companies like Bayer and Merck in 2019. The company launched its AI-augmented drug design platform in May.

Faire, which was headquarters in both Kitchener-Waterloo and San Francisco, was one of the unicorns that made this year’s CB Insights AI 100. The wholesale marketplace uses machine learning to match local retailers with goods that are predicted to sell well in their specific locations.

Image source Xanadu via Facebook

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle Kirkwood

Writer, globetrotter, drone pilot & David Attenborough enthusiast