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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.

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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.

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