2016 has been a prolific year for Machine Learning/AI companies in all fronts. In this post I have tried to capture some notable funding rounds and acquisitions of Machine Learning (ML) startups that took place last year. Admittedly there are too many of these events and I have probably missed some, but I am reasonably certain that I have covered a good chunk of them. Before jumping to the table below, I would like to cover some general themes first:
1. Companies involved in building (or catering to) autonomous vehicles have typically secured larger funding rounds commanding much higher valuations.
2. As a runner up, I will pick ad-tech players. Deep Learning (DL) companies that can help their clients run more successful marketing campaigns are highly valued.
3. Mega players such as Facebook, Alphabet, Apple, Salesforce.com, and Twitter have acquired a number of ML startups with outsized premiums. Gaining access to A+ data scientists has been as great of a motivator as having access to a great technology. So if you can build a strong ML team but don’t have a solid business plan don’t panic; just do some cool and visible development work in areas as Natural Language Processing (NLP), Image Classification, Image Recognition, and Predictive models and make sure you are noticed.