The top 10 most promising European AI startups

The top 10 most promising European AI startups

The worldwide race to take the leadership in artificial intelligence has started. And given the financial and scientific powers of the United States and China, Europe will probably not have a choice, but to show a common strategy in order to be a serious competitor. It is not an easy task as the major European countries have announced separate artificial intelligence strategies the last three years, but the European Union is working on the subject and the idea of a €100 billion funds to help European tech startups has been raised in 2019. The role of the UK in this race, though, remains uncertain with the Brexit.

However, Europe already hosts very promising AI companies and startups. Many high-level scientists and AI talents are trained in Europe and a significant number of AI startups have emerged. From our researches, we count almost 500 AI startups in Europe.

We have decided to select ten of the most promising ones among them, that are worth a look in 2020. These startups have been created since 2013 and already have a significant international reach, even outside Europe. We selected them for their promising products, their financial health, the growing sector they target and the quality of their AI scientists team. Of course, this list is not exhaustive and includes a fair share of subjectivity.

AiMotive (2014) – Hungary - $ 47.5M raised

  • Startup providing a software suite for autonomous vehicles. Thanks to computer vision, they trained algorithms able to mimic visual capabilities of human drivers. AiMotive has partnerships with international companies such as Samsung, Volvo or PSA.

DeepL (2017) – Germany

  • Originally the company was called Linguee and ran the free translation service of the same name. After nine years of training from various texts, Linguee’s database and web crawling, they launched DeepL in 2017, which now provides translation in 9 main European languages. DeepL's translations were rated significantly better than other freely available services such as Google and Bing. (2016) – United Kingdom - $38.9M raised

  • offers a machine learning platform for building autonomous agents for games and decision-support simulations. It is an algorithmic studio tool using different AI techniques to develop behavioral learning and simulation in virtual environments.

Shift Technology (2013) – France - $100M raised

  • Startup developing an offering to prevent fraud more efficiently. The company leverages the best of data science to automatically detect networks of fraudsters in insurance and e-commerce. Their platform is provided as a SaaS model and has delivered positive results for many of its customers, such as Covéa, Axa, CAN, MS&AD, etc.

Mapillary (2013) – Sweden – $24.5M raised

  • Mapillary is the street-level imagery platform that scales and automates mapping using collaboration, cameras, and computer vision. Their platform generates maps and data for cities and the automotive industry. They have international partners and clients like HERE, Esri or Lyft.

Graphcore (2016) – United Kingdom - $310M raised

  • Graphcore is developing chips called IPU (Intelligence Process Unit) whose goal is to accelerate machine learning applications. These new processors are designed specifically for AI applications, allowing AI researchers to run current machine learning models orders faster.

Owkin (2016) – France - $18.1M raised

  • Startup using machine learning to augment medical and biology research. Owkin focuses on health and offers a platform, which uses AI techniques to discover biomarkers and mechanisms associated with diseases and treatment outcomes. Owkin has built up very high-level team with experts in AI and medical researches. Although headquartered in the US, founders and most employees are French and the majority is based in France.

Konux (2014) – Germany - $51.6M raised

  • Konux is both an IoT and AI startup. They offer a solution based on smart sensors and AI-based analytics to deliver insights in real time and allow their customers to better monitor their infrastructure and improve their operations and costs. Konux mostly works with large industrial and rail companies like Deutsche Bahn.

Prophesee (2014) – France - $65.3M raised

  • Startup developing software and hardware based on computer vision to improve machine efficiency. Prophesee develops sensors and systems for applications in many fields of the Industry 4.0 such as autonomous vehicles, industrial automation, IoT, security and surveillance, and AR/VR. They have partnerships with international companies like Renault-Nissan, Intel or Bosch.

Darktrace (2013) – United Kingdom - $230.5M raised

  • AI startup focusing on cybersecurity. Darktrace offers a platform based on machine learning algorithms to detect and respond to cyber-threats in real-time across diverse digital environments, including cloud and virtualized networks, IoT and industrial control systems. They already have a significant portfolio of international customers in all sectors.


Authors : Victor Crété, Olivier Rafal, Bogdan Cotovelea