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15 February 2024·8 min read

Lisa Palchynska

Editor-in-Chief, Vestbee

20 promising AI startups to watch, according to investors

In January, the Polish-founded AI company ElevenLabs, specializing in text-to-speech software for publishers and creators, secured $80 million in funding, achieving unicorn status in less than two years since its inception. This achievement highlights the growing interest in AI for both startups and investors. 

Now, the question arises: which AI startups are worth keeping an eye on in 2024? Vestbee sought opinions from Movens Capital, Flyer One Ventures, Presto Ventures, Roosh Ventures, and Superangel. The only condition was that the funds couldn't mention their portfolio companies.

Yaroslav Krempovych, Principal at Movens Capital 

Ukrainian-founded AiSDR develops AI-powered tools to create personalized email marketing campaigns. It got into YC twice — that happens very rarely. AiSDR has a battle-tested team and the backing of prominent investors from the region and the US. Moreover, the startup has a lot of experience from their previous venture, which developed software for document management. Thus, its team is really good at digitizing processes.

Besides Respeecher and ElevenLabs, this company is another prominent player in voice but with a different spin on the topic — accent elimination in calls. We have had a lot of exposure to call center technologies previously and, in general, are big believers in voice. While some fields might be automated with software like Talkie.ai, I don't see processing speeds allowing real-time LLM feedback in commercial applications without on-premise processing. 

Thus, human call center and sales call operators will likely stay with us for a while. In my opinion, Sayso eliminates a very important friction point in this market, especially for every non-native speaker.

ImmunoMind uses AI and multi-omics to predict the efficacy of immunotherapies and stratify patients. In general, this market is rapidly growing, driven by the increasing prevalence of cancer and autoimmune diseases, and the demand for more effective treatments. 

ImmunoMind's ability to de-risk immunotherapy development and focus on the most efficient candidates is a significant value proposition for the pharmaceutical sector. The startup also has a solid team with previous successes in developing software for this industry.

Ender Turing develops AI for call centers to improve their customers' experience by better training call center operators through real-time analytics on voice and digital conversations between employees and customers. The startup has an experienced team involved in voice and NLP, including engineers with experience working on heavyweight enterprise systems offered by players like Cisco. But, at the end of the day, what impressed us most were the testimonials of their clients.

This company was in stealth mode from 2014 to 2015; it was likely the first new mlitech robotics manufacturer in Ukraine, actively used in combat, with a long history, a strong leadership team, and notable progress. I believe they are poised to become leaders in consolidating other robotics and drone manufacturers in Ukraine.

This startup specializes in surveillance and monitoring for construction sites. While some sites still rely on human operators, the industry is rapidly shifting towards fully autonomous systems. Our team, composed of ex-consultants, has extensive experience digitizing a previously underserved aspect of the consultation process. We are proud to be currently employed on one of the world's largest sites, and the recent $15 million funding round demonstrates market recognition.

Elena Mazhuha, Partner at Flyer One Ventures

Founded by Sofiia Shvets from Ukraine, the startup uses advanced AI to make regular photos look amazing for e-commerce industry and branded content. Currently, Claid has enhanced more than 100 million photos for some of the largest companies in the US.

Their shift to concentrating on the growing e-commerce sector opens up growth possibilities and the potential to attract more prominent brand customers. Nearly 3 billion people around the world use e-commerce, and the share of e-commerce sales as a percentage of total sales has surpassed 15% in 2023 and reached its second-highest level in history. With this increase, Claid’s solution is set to further capitalize on growing demand.

Ukrainian-founded Sayso is a tool that reduces strong accents in the voice files of human speech or real time, and enhances the quality of calls by eliminating unwanted background noise with AI. It might be used for enhancing customer support, speech transcription, content creation, voice calls, video chats, and even in military space. Because of this, keeping it secure is really important. Sayso runs on edge, not in the cloud, which makes it a good fit for telecom, military and other data-sensitive fields.

Sayso’s product, with its focus on diversity, inclusion, and accessibility, catches my interest. Although it’s in the early stages, the technology shows promise for various use cases. I’m excited to see their future progress.

Hungarian startup Diffusedrive specializes in synthetic data creation for training computer vision models. It serves various industries, including autonomous cars, IoT, security, and others reliant on video recognition. To achieve accurate recognition, the model must be trained to recognize literally anything, including highly unusual cases — that’s exactly what this startup does.

The increasing demand for model training is clear, and it benefits industries that are going to shape our future. For me, this is a startup worth keeping an eye on.

Kaari Kink, investor at Superangel

Computational Biology is an emerging industry capable of addressing some of the greatest challenges humankind faces, such as climate, food security, and health. Lithuanian startup Biomatter has a unique and capable technology that has already demonstrated proven value to global partners and can be pivotal in unlocking completely new horizons in protein engineering.

GScan enables 3D scanning with material classification using its innovative, patented technology, based on cosmic rays and advanced ML modeling. Their technology can be used to assess anything from nuclear reactors to parcels, concrete, and steel. Therefore, GScan can have transformative implications for the Defense, Security, and Infrastructure industries.

Estonian startup Supersimple has designed a data platform that allows B2B SaaS companies to become inherently data-driven. Unpacking complex data and drawing meaningful insights is an incredibly powerful way of running any team or company. Supersimple has assembled a strong and talented team, with a focus on building a superior product experience and empowering all teams to make informed decisions. 

Adam Hashchyshyn, Principal at Roosh Ventures

Fabrica AI is shaping a future where developing robots is a matter of days, not years. I am highly optimistic about their mission, given the increasing demand for robots across various sectors such as defence, construction, and manufacturing. Furthermore, the team is spearheaded by Jakub, a genius who won International competitions in physics and informatics and has worked on self-driving cars at Wayve.

The startup is developing an AI-assisted platform designed for mental health professionals, featuring automated notes and analytics. 

The issue of mental disorders represents a significant challenge, and while numerous established mental health companies and platforms already exist to connect therapists with patients, Upheal sets itself apart. The company not only facilitates this crucial connectivity but also introduces a suite of AI-powered features aimed at supporting therapists. This enables them to concentrate fully on their clients.

Based in Ukraine, the startup specializes in developing AI-powered solutions to detect fake news. Established in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine by serial entrepreneurs with an already successful M&A exit to an Israeli unicorn, the company is dedicated to combating fraud and the deep fake phenomenon. 

The growing development of AI has led to an increase in its adversarial use, highlighting the clear need for such products. Despite this, the market Osavul is targeting remains in its early stages, resulting in relatively low competition. We value the company for its innovative approach and for serving as a compelling example of AI's double-edged use.

Roman Novacek, Partner and CFA at Presto Ventures

The startup develops text-to-speech software tailored for publishers and creators. The platform leverages an internally developed deep learning model for speech synthesis, enabling lifelike human intonation and adaptive delivery based on context.

It was chosen because of its fast growth — the recent $80 million funding round is the proof. Generally, ElevenLabs has a huge potential.

E2B is a Czech startup that provides sandboxed cloud environments made for AI agents and AI apps. It is on the list because of its large user base. Previously, it was also selected among top CZ startups to watch.

Silent Eight is a technology company leveraging AI to create compliance platforms for the world's leading financial institutions. This startup has an interesting pro-social impact — fighting financial crime.

Vojta Rocek, Partner at Presto Ventures

Contember is a Czech startup that develops an open-source framework that simplifies backend development, allowing to launch any project in minutes. It was chosen because of the great product — using just a web app description, Contember's AI can build the entire backend infrastructure. 

DeepNote is a startup that is building a data science platform on top of Jupyter-compatible notebooks. This Czech startup has a potential to become the only tool a company uses for their AI development.

Superface allows GPT builders to easily connect to any API, enabling them to create, retrieve, and manage data from external platforms. 

This is a Czech startup that looks ahead – they solve the problem of AI agents that need to connect themselves to various systems and work with their data while performing tasks independently.

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