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Emerging Tech Research: Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning

Q4 2020

Emerging Tech Research: Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning

February 26, 2021

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Recent IPOs of Palantir, C3.ai, and Upstart have attracted high interest from public market investors, demonstrating that enterprise AI has become a standalone investment category. The VC ecosystem has incubated the long development cycles needed to bring AI systems to market, resulting in large companies disrupting legacy industries including government contracting, oil & gas, and consumer lending.

Our Q4 installment of Emerging Tech Research on AI & ML includes a deep dive on disclosure of AI architecture in the S-1 filings of C3.ai and Upstart. The report also tracks major industry trends, covering developments in MLOps, computational biology and more. Key takeaways include:

  • AI & ML VC deal activity in 2020 was led by healthcare, consumer, enterprise IT, and autonomous vehicles, with each category raising over $5 billion. Declines occurred in financial services, AI core, AI automation platforms, and computer vision.
  • AI adoption remains immature as 2020 saw no gains in the share of data science organizations using AI nor the share making widespread usage of AI across their organizations.
  • Recent AI & ML S-1 filings have used explicit descriptions of AI technology architecture to support high valuation multiples upon listing.