While overall U.S. venture capital funding dipped in 2019, the artificial intelligence sector bucked this trend by reaching a new annual high for money raised by startups.
According to 2019 data from the National Venture Capital Association, 1,356 AI-related companies in the U.S. raised $18.457 billion. That topped the 1,281 companies that raised $16.8 billion in 2018, according to the Q4 2019 PitchBook-NVCA Venture Monitor.
NVCA had projected that AI startups were on pace to set a new record after Q3 funding surged. They managed to set the new high after $4 billion was raised by 267 AI-related startups during the last three months of 2019. That was a slight dip from the $4.4 billion raised in Q3 2019.
The most recent AI fundraising deals in Q4 2019 included $15 millon raised by Evisort to automate contract management; $18 million raised by Huckleberry, which uses AI to match small businesses with insurance; and $20.6 million raised by Anyscale to simplify writing AI and machine learning applications.
As these and other companies continue to expand their impact, AI investing outperformed the overall VC market.
NVCA reported that $136.5 billion was raised across 10,777 deals in 2019. In 2018, according to NVCA’s revised figures, $140.2 billion was raised across 10,542 deals.