Apr 9, 2024 - Technology

Exclusive: AI startups dominate Enterprise Tech list

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Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

AI companies dominate this year's list of top startups focused on selling technology to businesses, according to the latest Enterprise Tech 30 list compiled by venture capital firm Wing and shared first with Axios.

Why it matters: Businesses have been investing heavily in generative AI over the past two years, though the jury's still out on how much the technology will boost productivity or profitability.

  • "This year's ET30 is heavily weighted towards AI, especially those companies building AI's infrastructure, tooling and core model technologies," said Peter Wagner, a founding partner at Wing.

By the numbers: The list includes 40 companies — 10 early-stage, 10 mid-stage, 10 late-stage and 10 "giga" companies.

  • Of the 40 companies on this year's list, 17 are new to the ET30.
  • Of the 17 new companies, seven are in AI models and tools, three are in data platforms or business intelligence, and four are in software-as-a-service.
  • Overall, 30% of the ET30 2024 companies are in AI models and tools, 25% are in SaaS, 20% are in data platforms/business intelligence, 10% are in cybersecurity, 5% are in developer tools, 5% are in fintech and 5% are in defense/aerospace.

Between the lines: The group of early-stage companies is the most dominated by AI companies, while the late-stage and "giga" companies are a wider mix.

  • Wagner notes that's unsurprising, since the larger firms were founded well before the "GenAI moment" touched off by the release of ChatGPT in 2022.

Zoom in: The top early-stage company is LangChain, which makes tools for developing applications powered by large language models.

  • The top mid-stage company is Pinecone, a data platform that helps companies get better results from large language models through training on specific data — a technique known as RAG (retrieval augmented generation).
  • "The rest of these two cohorts are filled with other AI-first companies, demonstrating the industry's sharp shift in this direction," Wagner said.

Flashback: AI was the dominant theme in last year's list as well, with a third of companies focused on generative AI.

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