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The AI Hot 75
The NFX Team ·@NFX
Apr 2023 ·Generative AI

The hottest up & comers in generative AI. Early-stage companies showing leading indicators of future greatness. Curated by NFX.

No doubt generative AI is extremely fast-moving water. But while media hype focuses on incumbents and household names, we’re doubling down on the “AI underground.”

The generative AI groundswell is disproportionately fueled by a dense network of exceptional, early-stage companies. We’ve seen it growing throughout San Francisco, in “Cerebral Valley” at NFX HQ, inside hacker houses, and via 100’s of meetings with up-and-coming AI founders.

After we open-sourced our Generative AI market map a few months ago, we went to work analyzing this network for early indicators of future greatness. It is going to produce the next generation of unicorns, at a faster rate and at lower cost than any other startups before them.

Today we are making public our findings. Meet the AI Hot 75.

Identifying the AI Hot 75

Broadly speaking, we searched for leading indicators that an early-stage generative AI company has broken into the right networks and has found a “white hot center” (a highway to massive growth).

With those guiding principles in place, we gave preference to early-stage companies generally at the Seed and Series A stage. We narrowed the list according to: total amount raised, status of key investors, proximity to a geographical AI center of excellence, and “buzz” – which we imputed from various virality, traction, and WOM factors.

We finalized our selections based on in-network reputation – i.e. if a company has been recommended or regarded by peers or experts in our network.

This list will look different from many that you’ve already seen. While some of the companies are household names already, most aren’t the biggest companies out there – yet.

Instead, these are the companies indicative of the next generation. The ones with notable momentum. The hot ones worth following.

AI Hot 75

In addition to using proprietary NFX data for this list, we also referred to Pitchbook, Crunchbase, our network of friends and founders, The NFX AI Social Club, and used ChatGPT to stress test analysis and language as well.

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