The UK AI Startups to Watch in 2021

With the UK AI startup scene growing over 600% in the past 10 years, here we explore some of the AI startups to watch over 2021.


What Do AI Startups Offer?

AI startups can be essential for helping bring companies into the 21st Century. Using machine learning can help companies to harness their workforce and improve efficacy, efficiency and accuracy of human efforts.

There are four distinct types of artificial intelligence: limited memory, theory of mind, self-awareness, and reactive machines. AI startups help to get the most out of these AI methodologies over a range of different sectors and industries from financial institutions to medicine to data management.

For example, AI has been essential for modernising fintech, helping to automate processes such as credit scoring and data management.


What Industries Do AI Startups Service?

Increasingly more industries are realising the benefits of AI technology and how these techniques can maximise their company efficiency. Technological advancements can have a huge impact across multiple sectors including Healthcare, Retail, Travel and Banking amongst many others.
Reportedly, the top 5 industries using Artificial Intelligence the most are Education, Retail & E-Commerce, Financial Services, Healthcare and Marketing.


What Are the Biggest AI Startups to Date in the UK?

According to how much funding has been received, the biggest AI startups in the UK include OneTrust, Babylon, Darktrace, Graphcore and BenevolentAI, amongst others.

The top AI companies encompass many different sectors with the top performers appearing in the cybersecurity, healthcare and scientific research sectors.


The Future of AI

The UK’s AI startup scene has grown by 600% over past decade, with the sector bringing in £2.41 billion worth of investment in 2020 alone. According to Tech Nation’s AI research, only 67 UK AI companies were founded in 2020 (down from 133 in 2019). That being said, UK AI saw a 17% increase in VC investment, which is more than any other country globally. Although the majority of these businesses operate in the financial sector (around 10%), AI is taking over multiple industries.

Here are some of the top AI companies paving the way in 2021.


Top 6 Start Ups To Watch in 2021


1. Vivacity Labs



Vivacity Labs, the company pioneering AI technology which gathers detailed and anonymous data 24/7 on transport modes, traffic flow and travel patterns in real-time, supporting strategic decisions to help optimise the transport network and improve urban infrastructure. The company has this year won a Queen’s Award for Innovation and raised over £5million in a round led by Mobeus. Its customers include TfL, Transport for Greater Manchester and Ford to name a few.


2. Navenio



Navenio, the company which is pioneering infrastructure-free location technology (powered by AI motion tracking) to connect healthcare teams, has recently seen significant investment including £9 million in a round led by QBN Capital, a £400,000 grant from Innovate UK and almost £1 million in investment from Future Planet Capital. Having entered the DIT 100 and Tech Nation Upscale 6.0 cohort this year, Navenio has also been successful in securing funding in the latest round of the NHSX AI in Health and Care Award, and is a key emerging UK digital health tech company with a vision to unlock challenges facing global healthcare.


3. Limitless



Limitless, a gig customer service (GigCX) platform, combining crowdsourcing and AI to help global businesses address their biggest customer service challenges recently raised $10 million too. The round will help continue its dedicated growth in the US market, establishing a new US-based headquarters to focus on its product development, particularly surrounding routing, automation and AI to augment the strengths of humans. Brands like Microsoft, Unilever, Sage, eBay and L’Oreal are using Limitless’ SmartCrowd™ technology to empower people worldwide to earn money for providing brilliant customer service for the brands they love.



4. Fermata


Fermata was founded in 2019 by Valeria Kogan as an agricultural optimization platform. The Israeli-based software company develops the next-generation farming tool that provides precise plant monitoring in greenhouses and helps to identify diseases through image analysis with the use of AI-based technologies. Its solutions make it possible to use imagery data for automatization of the visual monitoring process, including early disease identification, pest detection, and control of plant growth. The technology helps to prevent 30% of the harvest loss and reduces the monitoring time required by farmers by 50%. Using it, farmers can increase the volume of quality products without causing additional food waste and also automating processes in greenhouses.


5. Smartomica


Smartomica is a Latvia-based biotech SaaS company founded by Valeria Kogan and Igor Koman that develops technologies for AI-guided integrative analysis of different meaningful parameters. The key product is a fully automated platform-based solution for DNA and RNA data analysis and interpretation. The platform helps integrate genetic testing for tumor profiling, general medical information identification, and suitable clinical practice treatment. Through automated genetic data processing and information extraction from scientific sources, it provides doctor-friendly actionable recommendations (oncology and non-oncology reports) for assistance in treatment or diagnostics in Latvia and in Israel.


6. mnAI


mnAI is an award-winning start-up whose data platform provides organisations with unique insight, research and due-diligence on all unlisted companies in the UK. We hold 9.5+ billion data points on over 7 million UK companies, applying a wide variety of proprietary machine learning algorithms and AI, enabling our users to access targeted company information far more rapidly than currently possible.

Using both governance and societal data, mnAI’s platform and data powers insight and analysis across a wide range of industries, including private equity, corporate finance, investment firms, educational institutions, professional services, financial services, media, and local/national Government.