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article imageQ2'18 was good to US-based AI startups

By Lisa Cumming     Jul 13, 2018 in Business
PwC and CB Insights have released their MoneyTree™ Report for Q2 2018 and US-based artificial intelligence companies saw an increase in funding, but not an increase in deals.
PwC and CB Insight's MoneyTree™ Report documenting VC investments for Q2'18 found that funding to US-based artificial intelligence companies increased 21 per cent this quarter to $2.3 billion.
In the report Anand Rao, PwC's Global Artificial Intelligence Leader, says "Q2'18 was a second-straight record quarter for total Artificial Intelligence (AI) funding," and eight rounds bringing in over $100 million to US-based AI startups "contributed to the record total."
The total number of deals to US-based artificial intelligence companies were "flat" this quarter, declining by one deal from Q1 to a total of 124 deals. The money didn't come from the volume of deals, evidently, it came from increased funding given in funding rounds: total funding rose from $1.9 billion in Q1 to $2.3 billion in Q2.
According to the report, Q2's increase in total funding was helped by "later-stage deals" at companies like Dataminr, who had a $392 million Series E funding round, and CrowdStrike, who had a $200 million Series E funding round.
The top states for artificial intelligence funding in Q2 were California, 67 deals and $1.487 billion in investments; New York, 19 deals and $565 million in investments; Massachusetts, eight deals and $55 million in investments; Texas, seven deals and $32 million in investments (although Texas overall is reported to have "lost VC momentum" year-over-year); Washington, five deals and $27 million in investments.
The five largest AI deals include the aforementioned Dataminr and Crowdstrike, as well as Tanium ($175 million deal), Cylance ($120 million deal), and AutoLab AI ($113 million deal). All except for Dataminr (NY) came out of California, and all except for AutoLab AI (early stage) were later stage ventures. Behind Lyft ($600 million deal), Dataminr was the second-largest deal overall of Q2.
What this means for next quarter
According to the report, the top two sectors for US VC investment were 'internet' and 'healthcare' with $8.9 billion and $5.3 billion invested, respectively. This, combined with growing AI funding, could make for an increasingly hospitable environment for AI startups in these fields, operating in the US market.
"Healthcare AI startups, specifically, saw a significant increase in early funding," reads a CB Insights report from May on new AI-backed health startups. "More than 300 startups have emerged since 2016, and a record 77 first equity deals were made just last year."
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