The 10 Most Well-Funded AI Startups Of 2024 (So Far)

The 10 Most Well-Funded AI Startups Of 2024 (So Far)

Cyera, Glean and xAI are among the recently founded AI companies capturing major investor attention.

A data security platform powered by artificial intelligence, a provider of AI agents and assistants founded on company data, and Elon Musk’s mysterious AI company are among the most well-funded startups so far in 2024.

Cyera, Glean and xAI are among the recently founded companies capturing investor attention as the AI market continues its rapid expansion, demonstrating that in the AI space innovation doesn’t happen solely within the tech giants.

The funding comes during a multi-year dry spell for venture capital, according to market intelligence platform AlphaSense. VC investment fell to $76 billion in the first quarter of 2024, the lowest since the second quarter of 2019. The number of deals hit a four-year low.

[RELATED: The 10 Hottest Cybersecurity Tools And Products Of 2024 (So Far)]

AI Funding 2024

CRN compiled the following list by referencing data from startup funding websites Crunchbase and Pitchbook.

Some well-known and well-funded organizations did not make the list because they are not based in the United States or because the company was founded more than five years ago, beyond CRN’s definition of a startup. c

A series of startup funds associated with OpenAI – arguably the biggest AI organization in the space thanks to its ChatGPT content-generator – have raised money this year, according to filings with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission.

OpenAI Startup Fund SPV I raised $10 million, according to a February filing. An April filing filing showed that OpenAI Startup Fund SPV II raised $15 million, and a filing in May showed that OpenAI Startup Fund SPV III raised $5 million.

Multiple news outlets reported that Cohere, for example, raised $450 million in June with investors including Nvidia, Cisco and Salesforce, but the startup is based in Canada. CoreWeave raised $1.1 billion in a new round in May, in another example, but the company was founded in 2017.

Read on for the top AI startups of 2024 so far by venture capital raised.

10. Perplexity AI

HQ: San Francisco

CEO: Aravind Srinivas

2024 Amount Raised So Far: $136.3M

Perplexity started 2024 with the announced closure of a $73.6 million Series B round of funding, and then in April reveal that it raised another $62.7 million. Investors include billionaire Stanley Druckenmiller, Y Combinator CEO Garry Tan, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and Nvidia.

Amazon CEO Andy Jassy notably shouted out Perplexity during the vendor’s 2024 first quarter earnings report.

The additional money will help with global expansion, according to a Perplexity statement. The startup positions its AI technology as an answer engine giving users conversational, verifiable information with citations from trusted news outlets, academic papers and established blogs.

The startup also used the announcement of its $62.7 million round to promote its new Perplexity Enterprise Pro business-to-business (B2B) offering. Perplexity serves 169 million queries per month. Multiple media outlets have also reported that Perplexity is seeking another $250 million.

CEO Aravind Srinivas co-founded the startup in 2022. He previously worked as a research scientist at OpenAI, according to his LinkedIn account. He has a doctorate in computer science.

In May, Perplexity introduced Pages, a tool for turning research into articles, reports or guides. The following month, news outlets Forbes and Wired accused the Perplexity feature of plagiarizing articles from their websites.

9. Celestial AI

HQ: Santa Clara, Calif.

CEO: Dave Lazovsky

2024 Amount Raised So Far: $175M

Celestial AI’s Photonic Fabric optical interconnect technology platform attracted investor interest earlier this year with the March announcement of a $175 million Series C round of funding.

U.S. Innovative Technology Fund (USIT), AMD Ventures, Koch Disruptive Technologies (KDT), Temasek, Samsung Catalyst, Porsche Automobil Holding and others participated in the round, which should help Celestial scale up its commercialization, the startup said in a statement.

Celestial bills its platform as disaggregating compute and memory, enabling greater bandwidth and memory capacity, and reducing latency and power consumption compared to optical interconnect alternatives and copper.

In a separate March statement, Celestial said that system integrators are part of the Photonic Fabric ecosystem it is building – including custom silicon design service providers such as Broadcom and packaging suppliers such as Samsung.

CEO Dave Lazovsky founded the startup in 2020, according to his LinkedIn account. He previously founded semiconductor and energy company Intermolecular, took it public and led Intermolecular as CEO until 2014.

8. Cognition AI

HQ: San Francisco

CEO: Scott Wu

2024 Amount Raised So Far: $196M

In June, Cognition AI CEO Scott Wu confirmed on Bloomberg TV that his startup raised $175 million in a round of funding – building on a $21 million round revealed by multiple media companies in March.

The San Francisco-based startup is behind Devin, an autonomous AI software engineer that can build and deploy applications end to end, find and fix bugs in codebases, and train and fine-tune models, among other actions, according to Cognition.

Also in June, Cognition upgraded Devin with playbooks for repetitive, multi-step engineering tasks. Devin also gained a machine snapshots feature for save states, event-driven triggering and the ability for users to read and edit Devin’s files.

Wu cofounded Cognition in 2023, according to his LinkedIn account. He previously cofounded AI-powered social media platform Lunchclub and served as its chief technology officer until 2022.

7. Glean

HQ: Palo Alto, Calif.

CEO: Arvind Jain

2024 Amount Raised So Far: $200M

Glean bills itself as the enterprise AI platform for company data, providing trusted answers grounded in users’ data with a centralized platform providing no-code, custom generative AI agents, assistants and chatbots with security, permissions and more.

The startup’s pitch won over investors to the tune of more than $200 million raised in a funding round, as revealed in a February blog post. Kleiner Perkins, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Sequoia Capital, Coatue, Iconiq Growth, Capital One Ventures, Citi, Databricks Ventures and Workday Ventures were among the round participants.

CEO Arvind Jain co-founded the startup in 2019, according to his LinkedIn account. He previously co-founded security vendor Rubrik and served as a distinguished engineer at Google, which he left in 2014.

In June, the startup made Glean Apps, Actions and APIs generally available for users to build custom agents and applications with advanced large language models (LLMs).

6. Augment

HQ: Palo Alto, Calif.

CEO: Scott Dietzen

2024 Amount Raised So Far: $227M

Augment closed a $227 million Series B round of funding in April, giving the startup more firepower for its brand of AI coding assistance technology.

The startup plans to use the capital “to accelerate product development and build out its product, engineering and go-to-market functions as the company gears up for rapid growth,” according to an Augment statement.

Sutter Hill Ventures, Index Ventures, Innovation Endeavors, Lightspeed Venture Partners and Meritech Capital participated in the round.

The startup positions its technology as optimized for large codebases, with suggestions that reflect a user’s coding patterns. Augment’s custom AI models avoid hallucinations, has security to protect intellectual property (IP) and is faster at inferences than competitors, according to the startup.

Augment – based in Palo Alto, Calif., and founded in 2022 – is led by CEO Scott Dietzen, who previously led Pure Storage as CEO for about seven years before leaving the job in 2017, according to his LinkedIn account.

5. Cyera

HQ: New York

CEO: Yotam Segev

2024 Amount Raised So Far: $300M

Cyera closed a $300 million Series C round of funding in April, with investors including Coatue, Spark Capital, Georgian, AT&T Ventures, Sequoia, Accel and Redpoint.

The money will help the New York-based startup “continue to work tirelessly to enable security teams to discover and control their data – no matter where it resides – and in doing so transform data from a source of enterprise risk – to the lifeblood of business in the Digital Age.”

Cyera promises users an AI-powered platform for data security. The platform discovers, analyzes and classifies data across users’ data landscape without agents or overhead, according to Cyera’s website.

CEO Yotam Segev co-founded the startup in 2021, according to his LinkedIn account.

He previously served in cybersecurity leadership roles for more than 10 years as part of Unit 8200, the Israeli Defense Force’s signals intelligence service, according to an online bio.

In February, Cyera made its platform available on Google Cloud Marketplace, according to the vendor.

The company is part of CRN’s 2024 Partner Program Guide.

4. Figure AI

HQ: Sunnyvale, Calif.

CEO: Brett Adcock

2024 Amount Raised So Far: $675M

In February, Figure AI closed a $675 million Series B round of funding from investors including Microsoft, OpenAI Startup Fund, Nvidia, Jeff Bezos’ Bezos Expeditions and Intel Capital.

Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Figure and OpenAI also inked an agreement for developing AI models for humanoid robots, according to a statement at the time. Figure will also use Microsoft Azure for AI infrastructure, training and storage.

“The collaboration aims to help accelerate Figure’s commercial timeline by enhancing the capabilities of humanoid robots to process and reason from language,” according to the statement. “This new capital will be used strategically for scaling up AI training, robot manufacturing, expanding engineering headcount, and advancing commercial deployment efforts.”

CEO Brett Adcock founded the startup in 2022. He previously founded aerospace company Archer Aviation and took it public in 2021.

Figure is at work on what it calls “the world’s first commercially viable autonomous humanoid robot,” expected to stand at 5-foot-6, carry a 44-pound payload, weigh 132 pounds, run for five hours and more at about 3 miles an hour, according to the startup’s website.

3. Xaira Therapeutics

HQ: San Francisco

CEO: Marc Tessier-Lavigne

2024 Amount Raised So Far: $1B

Xaira Therapeutics launched in April with more than $1 billion in committed capital to apply AI to pharmaceutical discovery and development.

The San Francisco-based startup wants to build “a platform for drug discovery and development that will advance multiple drug programs and unlock biological understanding to inform future discovery” through “advanced machine learning research, expansive data generation to power new models, and robust therapeutic product development,” according to a statement about the funding round.

Investors included ARCH Venture Partners and Foresite Capital, joined by F-Prime, NEA, Sequoia Capital, Lux Capital, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Menlo Ventures, Two Sigma Ventures, the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy (PICI), Byers Capital, Rsquared, and SV Angel, according to a statement by Xaira, which was founded in 2023.

The startup is led by Marc Tessier-Lavigne, who previously led Stanford University as its 11th president starting in 2016, according to an online bio. He also led Rockefeller University starting in 2011 as president, plus he served as head of the school’s Laboratory of Brain Development and Repair. He has a doctorate in physiology.

His time at Stanford ended in 2023 amid controversy over his past research and papers.

2. Anthropic

HQ: San Francisco

CEO: Dario Amodei

2024 Amount Raised So Far: $2.75B

The best-funded startup of 2024 so far is Anthropic, founded in 2021 by siblings Daniela and Dario Amodei, who previously worked at Microsoft-backed rival OpenAI.

In March, Amazon made good on its promised $4 billion investment in the AI startup, giving Anthropic the final $2.75 billion just before the expiration of the agreement.

Seattle-based cloud giant Amazon said in a blog post this month that it gave Anthropic the final portion of the $4-billion investment, first revealed in September as part of a deal for Anthropic to build, train and deploy AI models on Amazon Web Services’ Trainium and Inferentia chips while giving AWS customers access to Anthropic foundation models on the fully managed Amazon Bedrock service.

“The work Amazon and Anthropic are doing together to bring the most advanced generative artificial intelligence technologies to customers worldwide is only beginning,” according to the blog post.

The investment came after Anthropic unveiled its Claude 3 model family, promising increased capabilities in analysis, forecasting, nuanced content creation, code generation, conversing in non-English languages and other actions.

In a May article, TechCrunch reported that Anthropic has to date raised nearly $8 billion at an $18.4 billion valuation, with more than $7 billion raised in the last year. Its list of about 60 investors also includes Google, Salesforce, SAP and Zoom.

In June, Anthropic launched Claude 3.5 Sonnet, the first release in the forthcoming Claude 3.5 model family.

Anthropic has also shown an interest in partnering with solution providers, inking deals with Accenture and Boston Consulting Group (BCG).

1. xAI

HQ: Burlingame, Calif.

Leader: Elon Musk

2024 Amount Raised So Far: $6B

In May, Elon Musk’s AI startup xAI revealed that it closed a $6 billion series B round of funding with investors including Andreessen Horowitz, Sequoia Capital, Fidelity Management & Research Co., and Saudi Arabian billionaire Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal and his Kingdom Holding company.

An xAI statement on the funding round said that it “will continue on this steep trajectory of progress over the coming months, with multiple exciting technology updates and products soon to be announced.”

“The funds from the round will be used to take xAI’s first products to market, build advanced infrastructure, and accelerate the research and development of future technologies,” according to the statement.

Musk – CEO of Tesla and SpaceX and owner of X, formerly Twitter – founded xAI last year.

In May, xAI released a preview of a version of its Grok conversational AI model to X Premium users. This version adds visual information processing for diagrams, charts, screenshots, photographs and other content.

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Cyera, Glean and xAI are among the recently founded AI companies capturing major investor attention. A data security platform powered by artificial intelligence, a provider of AI agents and assistants founded on company data, and Elon Musk’s mysterious AI company are among the most well-funded startups so far in 2024. Cyera, Glean and xAI are…

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