AI startups that gained unicorn status in 2021

This article lists the numerous start-ups turned Unicorns of 2021 that industry leaders have bet on

The boom in the AI industry has led to massive growth in AI companies. Heavy funding from leading tech-based investment funds have helped many companies gain Unicorn status, so much so that in 2021, many AI startups have crossed the $1 billion valuations. The success of these AI Unicorns has garnered much attention, and hence in this article, we collate the list of AI companies tech leaders are betting on. 

SambaNova Systems 

SambaNova Systems was founded in 2017 in Palo Alto, California. Their mission has been to bring AI innovations developed in advanced research to organisations worldwide. The computing platform brings efficiency and capability of cloud computing to unstructured data. In April 2021, the company raised $676 million in Series D funding, skyrocketing its evaluation to $5 billion, making the company “World’s best-funded AI Startup”. The leading investors of the funding round were SoftBank Vision, Temasek, GIC, BlackRock, Intel Capital, GV (formerly Google Ventures), Walden International and WRVI.


Clari is a cloud-based platform with a Revenue Operation Platform that uses automation and AI to improve predictability, efficiency and growth across the entire revenue process. In March 2021, the company raised over $150M in Series E funding, bumping the company’s total valuation to $1.6 billion. Silver Lake, Sequoia Capital, Bain Capital Ventures, Sapphire Ventures, Madrona Ventures, Thomvest Ventures, and Tenaya Capital led the Series E funding.


Dremio is a high-performance SQL (data) lakehouse platform built on an open data architecture that helps to accelerate BI and Analytics directly on cloud data lake storage. The company raised $135 million in Series D funding, reaching a valuation of $1 billion in January 2021. The funding was led by Sapphire Venture, Insight Partners, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Norwest Venture Partners, Redpoint Ventures, and Cisco Investments.

K Health 

K Health is a primary health care digital system with an AI-powered symptom checker that uses AI algorithms to provide case-based health advice in primary care, mental health and, paediatrics. The company secured over $132 million in Series E funding, reaching unicorn status with an evaluation of $1.5 billion. The round of funding was led by GGV Capital, Valor Equity Partners, 14W, Max Ventures, Pico Partners, Marcy Venture Partners, Primary Venture Partners and BoxGroup. 


Skydio is a leading drone manufacturer that leverages AI to produce intelligent flying machines. The company workforce comprises experts in the fields of AI, robotics etc. The company raised over $170 million in Series D funding, bagging a company valuation of $1 billion in March 2021. The Series D funding was led by Andreessen Horowitz, Linse Capital, Next47, IVP, UP.Partners. 


Socure is a leading digital identity platform that uses AI and ML techniques to verify identities in real-time. The company raised $100 million in a Series D funding round, taking its valuation to $1.3 billion in March 2021. The latest round of funding was led by Commerce Ventures, Scale Venture Partners, Flint Capital, Citi Ventures, Wells Fargo Strategic Capital, Synchrony, Sorenson, Two Sigma Ventures. 


Standard develops AI computer vision technology that facilitates autonomous checkout from brick and mortar retail shops. The company raised $150 million in its Series C funding, led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2 with participation from EQT, CRV, SK Networks. The company hit a valuation of $1 billion in February 2021, giving the company a unicorn status. 


Tonal is an AI-powered home gym for strength training. The advanced AI used in Tonal’s products analyses every facet of a person’s workout to help build strength efficiently and effectively. In March 2021, the company raised $250 million in Series E funding leading to a company valuation of $1.6 billion. The funding was led by Dragoneer, Cobalt Capital, L Catterton, and Sapphire Ventures. 


GupShup is a leading conversational messaging platform, sending over 6 Billion messages per month. It provides its interface to businesses for customer engagement. In addition, GupShup provides chatbots, bot building tools, omnichannel inbox capabilities, conversational AI, and client-side software to manage communications. The Indian startup received funding of $100M from Tiger Global Management, shooting its evaluation to $1.4B. 


Innovaccer is a big data startup that efficiently saves the time and money of hospitals and patients by breaking down information silos. This allows physicians to obtain a holistic view of their patients. The San Francisco and Noida-based startup became the first Indian health-tech unicorn in February 2021 when it received $105M in Series D, which increased its valuation to $1.3 billion. The funding was led by Tiger Global Management and existing investors Steadview Capital, Dragoneer, B Capital Group, Mubadala Capital and M12. 


ShareChat is an Indian social media app that has pledged to build India’s largest AI-powered content ecosystem. The startup entered the unicorn club when Mohalla Tech blacked ShareChat raised $502 million in its latest funding round, led by venture firms Lightspeed Ventures and Tiger Global. ShareChats valuation has now skyrocketed to $2.1B. 

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Abhishree Choudhary
Abhishree is a budding tech journalist with a UGD in Political Science. In her free time, Abhishree can be found watching French new wave classic films and playing with dogs.

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