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VCs determined to replace your job keep AI's funding surge rolling in Q2

VCs determined to replace your job keep AI's funding surge rolling in Q2
From TechCrunch - July 15, 2017

These are good times for AI entrepreneurs. Recent analysis of venture data shows that funding for artificial intelligence startups continues its upward trend in 2017, with investment hitting new highs.

(For deep dives into aggregate Q2 venture performance, headherefor the world, andherefor just the U.S.)

Venture, corporate and seed investors have put an estimated $3.6 billion into AI and machine learning companies this year, according to Crunchbase data. Thats more than they invested in all of 2016, marking the largest recorded sum ever put into the space in a comparable period.

Where did the money go? Nearly 40 percent of 2017s to date funding went to two companies. Argo AI, a Pittsburgh-based developer of AI technology for self-driving vehicles, raised $1 billion from Ford in February. And just this week, China-basedSenseTimeraised $410 million to develop applications of AI-powered deep learning technology for use cases like facial recognition and image processing.

Those werent the only big investments. At least 28 AI and machine learning companies closed rounds of $20 million or more this year. Nearly 250 have disclosed funding investments this year. In the following chart, we look at some of the biggest financings.

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M&A

Large-cap companies also have been pumping big sums into AI this year through investments, internal R&D and acquisitions. BothGoogleandToyotathis week announced new AI-focused corporate venture funds, following on the heels of a similar move by Microsoft a few months ago. Big tech companies also have been quite acquisitive, snapping up promising AI startups of all stages.

Quantifying AI

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