Top AI startup news of the week: There’s more to AI than just Microsoft and Google
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The headlines this week in the world of AI were dominated with talk of a new search engine war, with Microsoft and its erstwhile partner OpenAI, master of the phenom that is ChatGPT, pitched against stalwart Google and its prosaic Bard.
While the industry titans clash, it’s important to realize that there are a lot more players in the AI space that are creating innovations. This past week was no exception — with a healthy dose of activity and even a little magic, some “gloss” (AI), and even a Moonhub.
1. Is it AI or is it Magic?
There are those who might feel as though modern AI is some form of magic. While that’s not the technical truth, there is at least one startup that is hoping to bring a little magic to the world of AI.
San Francisco-based startup Magic announced a $23 million round of funding this week. Magic is building out technology for software engineering that it refers to as an “AI colleague.” The technology uses natural language to help programmers better understand and collaborate on software development.
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“Our mission is to deploy AI to accelerate science and make the world more productive. For decades, technology was just a tool; soon it will be a colleague,” Magic cofounder and CEO Eric Steinberger said in a statement. “The adoption of ‘AI assistants’ in the workplace will be as impactful as the Industrial Revolution, and it’s important to get this transition right.”
2. GlossAi raises $8 million for generative video-AI (V-AI)
Generative AI is all the rage for text and images, and it’s beginning to make waves in the video world as well. Tel-Aviv, Israel-based GlossAi announced this week that it has raised $8 million in a seed round of funding.
The promise of GlossAi is an AI technology that can intelligently help organizations quickly generate video content in a fraction of the time it might have taken with more traditional approaches to video creation. According to the company, its technology, “analyzes hundreds of parameters such as text, tone, pace, facial expressions and audience engagement using billions of data points, achieving its human-like content generation in near-real time.”
3. Kognitos brings in $6.8 million to develop generative AI to enterprise automation
Have we mentioned that generative AI is hot? Kognitos is yet another generative AI startup making news this week, raising a $6.8 million round of seed funding.
Kognitos is using generative AI to build out an enterprise automation platform called Koncierge. The platform is intended to enable the simple creation of what would otherwise be complex-to-produce business processes.
“We are unlocking the power of AI for humanity. Now every person will be able to use Generative AI for automating what they want — with just English,” Binny Gill, founder and CEO of Kognitos, wrote in a statement. “It’s time for computers to behave like humans, and humans to stop behaving like machines.”
4. Moonhub wants to help improve the hiring process with AI, raising $4.4 million seed
There is no shortage of startups that have been covered here on VentureBeat that are actively trying to improve the hiring process. Moonhub can now be added to that list.
Moonhub raised a $4.4 million seed round this week to help the company build out its talent management and recruiting technology. And yes, Moonhub also claims to be using “cutting-edge generative AI” according to its FAQ, to help organizations hire talent faster and more successfully.
5. Mattiq raises $15 million seed funding to develop sustainable materials with AI
Chicago based-Mattiq is using its AI technology for materials science in a bid to help organizations create a new generation of sustainable materials. The company announced this week that it has raised $15 million in a seed round of funding.
Mattiq has set quite an audacious goal for itself: forecasting that by 2024, the company will have synthesized and analyzed more than one trillion novel material combinations with the help of its advanced materials AI technology.
“From the Stone Age to the silicon era, materials discovery has been slow, unpredictable, and constrained by the performance of available materials,” said Mattiq founder and director Chad Mirkin in a statement. “Mattiq is disrupting this status quo, resulting in discoveries that enable new technologies at a pace not previously imaginable.”
6. Entropik seeks to boost AI-powered market research with $25 million series B
AI is also making an impact in the work of market research.
This week Bengaluru, India-based Entropik announced that it has raised $25 million in a series B round of funding. The company is looking to use the money to expand across the U.S., European and Asian markets.
Entropik’s technology helps organizations better understand consumer preferences. It does that with AI innovations that include numerous patents for eye tracking as well as facial coding. The company claims that its facial coding technology, which captures a user’s facial expressions, can be quantified for accurate sentiment analysis.
7. Customer experience AI vendor Ushur raises $50 million series C
Santa Clara, California-based Ushur is looking to help improve its customer experience automation (CXA) platform with the help of its $50 million series C round of funding that was announced this week.
The Ushur platform uses AI for a variety of processes and has an approach it calls “Conversational Apps” that provide a no-code approach to building processes that involve conversations between users and a company. The apps make use of AI for natural language processing as well as automation.
“The previous generation of enterprise automation was designed for infrastructure processes,” Simha Sadasiva, CEO and cofounder of Ushur, said in a statement. “We built Ushur’s AI platform with a different goal in mind: to provide excellent customer experiences at scale and to deliver meaningful interactions that put the customer’s needs at the center.”
8. MindsDB wants to help organization get more machine learning into applications
MindsDB announced that it raised $16.5 million series A funding this week as it continues to build out its open-source based machine learning (ML) platform that helps organizations build their own AI-powered applications.
VentureBeat first covered MindsDB back in 2020 when it raised its $3 million seed round. The company has grown in the years since, benefitting from integrations with OpenAI and Hugging Face to help bring both generative AI and natural language processing capability into a database-driven application.
“Today, there’s tremendous interest in the developer community to implement and integrate machine learning into their applications, but the process is complicated and expensive,” commented Chetan Puttagunta, general partner at Benchmark in a statement. “MindsDB is enabling developers from small startups to the biggest enterprises in the world by enabling developers to quickly and efficiently run ML models of their choosing with the database of their choosing.”
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