Forbes compiled a list of the top 50 trending AI companies with the help of two VCs and an algorithm. (Source:, Artur Tenczynski)

List Includes Small Companies Under $100 M Valuation, Unicorns

From cybersecurity software to workflow programs to health care, Forbes partnered with two venture capital companies to compile 50 of the most interesting AI companies in terms of early investment.

The article in Forbes on July 3 lists Sequoia Capital and Meritech Capital as partners in creating the second annual AI 50 list of private, U.S.-based AI companies to watch. Forbes explained the criteria for the list:

“To be included, companies had to be privately-held and focused on techniques like machine learning (where systems learn from data to improve on tasks), natural language processing (which enables programs to ‘understand’ written or spoken language), or computer vision (which relates to how machines ‘see’). Private AI companies that were incubated at, largely funded or acquired by large tech, manufacturing or industrial firms–including some of the leading autonomous vehicle developers–were not eligible for consideration.”

The publication received 400 entries and narrowed it down to 50. Appropriately, the VC partner judges used an algorithm to select 100 with the highest quantitative scores. Then a panel of eight qualified AI judges identified the 50 most “compelling” companies.

“Among the notable trends this year: Augmented intelligence, which seeks to help humans do their jobs better and not replace them, is on the rise as the excitement over full automation loses some steam. Self-driving tech startups remain hot; the seven autonomous vehicle companies on this year’s list have raised over $3 billion in total venture capital. Another area to watch: AI applications to discover drugs or diagnose diseases faster.”

Of the 50, 10 are under $100 million in valuation; 13 are unicorns valued at $1 billion or more.

Among the companies are several with cybersecurity products and health care tech, but some of the more unique selections are:

  • Hivemapper, which turns video footage into 3D maps.
  • Nuro, which produces self-driving autonomous robots.
  • SigOpt, which develops software for companies to build AI models.
  •, which analyzes stroke risk from brain images.