This 2021 has seen an influx of startups into the “no-code” AI space. What is this, you ask? It’s a movement towards simplifying the process of implementing AI models and making them more accessible to everyone. In this recap, we take a look at some of the top players in this space and see what they’ve accomplished in 2021. Stay tuned for what we predict will be big things from these startups in 2022!
1. Obviously.ai raised a seed round of $4.7M
Nirman Dave and Tapojit Debnath Tapu founded Obviously.ai to enable people without technical knowledge to build AI models and easily integrate them into business processes without dealing with complex IT departments. We had the pleasure of interviewing Nirman a few months ago and he shared that his platform had more than 3,000 users that trained 82,000+ machine learning models and scored more than 1M predictions back in August, and now it is up to 21.6M. Impressive! With this platform, you can cover use cases such as Predict Lead Conversion, Predict Dynamic Pricing or Predict Loan Repayment among many others. They raised $4.7M of seed funding.
Obviously.ai was also named Top 8 No-code tools with other popular names such as Airtable, Webflow, or Bubble. Both co-founders were named 30 Under 30 for North America Enterprise Technology for their contributions to making better business-to-business solutions. For sure, we will track closely how this platform evolves and continues to make AI more accessible for everyone!
2. Pecan AI raised $35M a Series B round
Israeli startup Pecan AI offers an intuitive platform to easily drive business value from AI, in just a matter of days and make the insights actionable. They provide off-the-shelf predictive models for common use cases such as predicting churn, lifetime value, or the next best offer. The platform provides automation helping with the heavy lifting in data science mundane tasks, all with a No-code interface. They raised $35M Series B and that brings the total funding to more than $50M. The round was led by global investor GGV Capital with participation from Vintage, Dell Technologies Capital, S-Capital, and Mindset.
3, Cambridge AI startup Akkio raises $3M for AI Platform
Akkio provides an AI platform for non-data scientists, helping business users automate the decision-making by harnessing the power of Machine Learning. The startup founded in 2019 was named #1 Product of the Day and #5 Product of the week on January 21st, 2021 on Product Hunt. Akkio claims state-of-the-art performance with faster training time. In the Mission statement, they claim the AI Revolution is the 4th revolution in the History of Humanity after the Neolithic, Industrial, and Digital Revolutions. They want to unlock AI technology, formerly only available for the largest corporations and make it available for everyone.
4. CrowdAI launches with $10M Series A funding for its computer vision platform
Computers need to be trained to see and understand objects from image data, whether in static imaging or video. CrowdAI provides a No-code AI tool that allows us to easily train Computer Vision models and put them into production. They use proprietary technology to allow you to train more accurate models with fewer data, using quality-controlled data annotation workflows and keeping the human in the loop. They also leverage their own neural networks and data enrichment engines - so you get the most from your data. Now the platform is open for everyone and you can start at crowdai.com/get-started.
CrowdAI was named Top 50 Most Promising AI Companies by Forbes, they participated in Y Combinator and raised $10.1M at a $30.1M valuation and the CEO and co-founder are in the Inc. Top 100 Female Founders.
5. Levity is a No-code Ai tool to automate workflows and raises $1.7M in pre-seed funding
Levity came out of stealth mode this 2021 and is a new No-code AI company based in Berlin. They provide AI-powered workflow automation to anyone. Using their technology, you can train Machine Learning models to automate repetitive tasks such as the categorization of documents, images, or text. Traditional rule-based techniques are limited and AI is the only way to do it at scale. Levity allows anybody to do it without technical skills. Levity also includes a lot of powerful integrations with different apps and Zapier, which allows them to integrate their models into end-to-end operations
6. Clarifai announced a $60M Series C and moves beyond Computer Vision
Clarifai, founded in New York by Matt Zeiler in 2013, was well known for its Computer Vision platform. They recently announced new capabilities, expanding their scope to image, video, text, and audio and becoming a reference for unstructured data AI. They provide powerful technology to deploy AI on the Edge, which means it can run on local hardware such as cameras and drones. This was followed by a $60M Series C funding round, taking the total funding to $100M. Clarifai also partnered with Snowflake to help get the value from unstructured data using the Clarifai No-code AI tools.
7. Noogata offers a No-code AI solution for enterprises
Founded in 2019 and also from Israel, raised a $12M seed round. Noogata provides pre-built AI building blocks that enterprises can put together and connect to third-party tools like Stripe, Salesforce, and others. They count PepsiCo and Colgate among their customers and their first focus is on e-commerce and retail, but they are expanding quickly to other industries such as financial services.
8. Create Synthetic Data as a Service with Rendered AI
As I mentioned a couple of times, AI is all about the data. Companies need high-quality data to build high-quality Machine Learning models. That data is not always available and sometimes needs to be created, and that’s called synthetic data. When data cannot be gathered, it needs to be simulated, and that is what Rendered AI offers as a service. They recently raised a seed round of $6M. The founder and CEO Nathan Kundtz explained: “What we’re pushing towards is, anybody who can click a button in a browser can generate synthetic data, and not just synthetic data but can really control the types of synthetic data that they want and can introduce that into the rest of a machine learning workflow.”
9. Primer AI allows democratization of NLP
Primer AI, a San Francisco-based No-code NLP startup, announced last summer a $110M Series C, taking their total funding to $168M. Prime was also named Top 40 Intelligent Applications, a New Industry Ranking of the Top Private Companies Building Applications with AI and Machine Learning. Primer lets organizations explore and utilize text data using their best-in-class Machine Learning solutions, automate text-based workflows at scale, and extract intelligence from all types of documents such as emails, PDFs, text messages, or social media. They partner with Intel, Microsoft, Palantir, and Infosys among others.
10. Dataiku released a new version of AI platform and raised $400M
Dataiku is a French startup that provides an all-in-one data science and machine learning platform that brings everyone together. They provide a wide range of tools for expert data scientists that want to code in R and Python and good No-code AI tools to build models visually. Founded in 2013 by Florian Douetteau, they are worth $4.6 billion and recently raised $400M in Series E, taking the total funding to $646.8M. In their latest release, they brought new tools for the up-and-coming MLOps space, to help companies put Machine Learning in production and provide governance.
11. DataRobot raises $300M, acquires Algorithmia
Busy year for DataRobot. The company started with a focus on AutoML and quickly expanded to new verticals. This 2021 DataRobot announced a new version of their platform with a No Code App Builder to help consume AI predictions by Business Users and new MLOps capabilities. AI Cloud for Industries was announced in November with tools, integrations, and partnerships for enterprises across the main industries. The Boston-based startup raised $250M Series G at a $2.7B valuation and brought the total investment to over $1B. They also acquired Algoritmia, a Seattle startup that started offering an AI marketplace of pre-trained models to later pivot to offer an MLOps platform and help productionize models. DataRobot offers flexibility for technical and non-technical users to train Machine Learning models and they’ve been focusing lately on Industry-specific Solutions.
Conclusion: It’s no secret that AI is the future of technology. The startups in this space are working to make it more accessible to everyone by simplifying the process and making it easier for anyone to implement an AI model. This year, we saw some pretty big things happen among these companies as they were backed up by millions of dollars worth of investments. Stay tuned for what will be coming from them next! If you want to stay ahead of the curve on all things startup related, don’t forget about our community - subscribe below if you haven't already done so!