The biggest AI startup deals of 2018

Venture-backed artificial intelligence companies have secure more than $.19 billion in the first quarter of 2018. Some of the biggest checks went to robotic process automation, autonomous vehicles, and predictive analytics.

The biggest AI startup deals of 2018
Peter Sayer/IDG

The biggest AI startup deals of 2018

Total investments in U.S. venture-capital backed artificial intelligence companies topped $1.9 billion in the first quarter of 2018, the highest ever. Some of the biggest checks were written for robotic process automation, autonomous vehicles, and predictive analytics, according to the MoneyTree report by PricewaterhouseCoopers and CB Insights. Here are six well-funded companies that will be bringing you the next wave of AI technology.

UiPath

UiPath

UiPath makes an enterprise robotic process automation (RPA) software platform, including tools for robot licensing, provisioning, scheduling, monitoring and alerting. It has built computer vision and natural language processing into its platform, and integrates with third-party cognitive services from Google, IBM, Microsoft and ABBY. It recently received a $153 million investment from Accel Partners, CapitalG (formerly Google Capital) and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, among others.

Pony.ai

Pony.ai

Pony.ai develops software for self-driving cars: It rolled out its first autonomous testing vehicle in April 2017, and a few months later competed its first fully autonomous driving demo. In January 2018, it landed $112 million in funding from Comcast Ventures, Legend Capital and Sequoia Capital China, among others. It now operates a self-driving ride-sharing fleet in Guangzhou, China, working with local auto maker GAC.

CS IoT
Peter Sayer/IDG

CS IoT

C3 IoT develops internet of things (IoT) software and services around its C3 Type System, an object-centric data abstraction layer. Among the applications it has developed are tools for predictive maintenance, inventory optimization and fraud detection, all running on its C3 IoT Platform. In January 2018 it raised $100 million from investors including TPG Growth, Sutter Hill Ventures and its founder and CEO Tom Siebel, formerly of Siebel Systems. Microsoft recently began reselling C3IoT’s platform-as-a-service, which now runs in the Azure cloud.

Nuro

Nuro

Nuro makes self-driving electric delivery trucks about the size of a motorcycle that it hopes will revolutionize deliveries for local companies. Its founders, Dave Feruson and Jiajun Zhu, previously worked on Google’s self-driving car project, Waymo. The company recently received $92 million from investors Banyan Capital and Greylock Partners.

Tempus Labs
Tempus Labs

Tempus Labs

Chicago-based Tempus Labs is applying machine learning to cancer diagnostics through tumor genome sequencing and the use of natural language processing and image recognition technology to collect, cleanse and analyze unstructured data. CEO Eric Lefkosky wants to stop the health care system letting data go to waste. In March 2018 Tempus raised an additional $80 million in funding from New Enterprise Associates, Revolution Growth, and T. Rowe Price Associates to scale its clinical and molecular analytic platform.

Stem

Stem

Stem helps organizations automate energy cost savings by using AI to determine when to fill up energy storage systems, and when to draw on them. This helps reduce the load on the electricity grid at peak times. The company recently raised $80 million from Activate Capital, Temasek Holdings and Ontario Teacher’s Pension Plan Board.