The artificial intelligence space is growing quickly and, with that, so is the need among AI startups to find the right investor.
I and four of my colleagues at NYU recently developed an AI powered engine to analyze investor data and identify the investors most likely to invest in certain startups. After analyzing more than 22,000 angel funding rounds since 2014 based on data available through Crunchbase, we ranked top angel investors in the AI space measuring three primary variables:
- Recency: measures angel investors’ latest investments in the angel round.
- Frequency: measures how active angel investors are in the AI space.
- Relevance: measures past investments in AI.
Here are the top 10 angel investors our algorithm came up with, scoring the highest at 100 with all other scores relative to the top score. (Note: We removed our original #6 from the list, since they recently stopped being as active as they were.)
1. Wei Guo — Score: 100
Guo is managing partner at UpHonest Capital and founder of Wei Capital. He has been recognized by some entities as one of the most active Chinese investors in Silicon Valley, where his fund has invested in more than 120 startups. His AI investments include RoboTerra, a company that specializes in educational robotics; MoBagel, a business intelligence solution that covers the Internet of Things’ data analytics process; and Mashgin, which is building a self-checkout kiosk using object recognition technology to identify retail store items.
2. Jerry Yang — Score: 72
Yang is a cofounder of Yahoo, and founding partner of AME Cloud Ventures, which invests in seed all the way to late stage startups. Yang is currently on the board of directors of Workday, Alibaba, and Lenovo. His AI investments include CrowdAI, which provides high-quality, scalable image annotation for companies that specialize in self-driving cars, satellite images, and automated drones; Zipline, a company that operates a drone delivery system for health supplies, including blood, vaccines, and medicine; and Osaro, a San Francisco-based AI company that creates machine intelligence software that aims to make computer and robotic systems more efficient, adaptive, and intelligent.
8. Esther Dyson — Score: 56
Dyson is chair of the Health Initiative Coordinating Council (HICCup), a startup that aspires to coordinate health intervention programs in cities. She invests in health, IT startups, and technologies. Her most notable AI investments include JOANY, which uses data and predictive modeling to simplify buying health insurance online and make it more personalized; and Init.ai, which helps companies create AI and conversational apps. [Correction: HICCUP has now changed its name to Way to Wellville, and Dyson’s title is Executive Founder]
9. Peter Livingston — Score: 54
Livingston is a Miami-based investor and engineer with over five years of experience in angel investing. His AI investments include Kairos AR for face recognition; Numerai, a hedge fund built by data scientists; and Vayu, which develops affordable medical delivery drones carrying healthcare supplies to remote areas in developing countries.
10. Semil Shah — Score: 48
Shah is a Silicon Valley based early stage investor and founder of Haystack, which invested in more than 70 companies, including Instacart, Hired, and DoorDash. He serves on the advisory boards of The Alpha Network and StrictlyVC. He is also a former consultant for several venture capital firms, including General Catalyst, Trinity Ventures, and GGV Capital, among others. His notable AI investments include AirMap, an airspace services provider that focuses on providing accurate airspace information for building unmanned aircrafts, drones, and applications; Iris Automation, which helps industrial drones avoid collision; and SkySafe, which provides drone defense and airspace control solutions.
AI applications are very diverse: computer vision, understanding natural language, speech recognition, and many more. Honing in on an even more specialized list of angel investors and VCs is another task, but one that AI can easily do.
Amr Shady is a data science engineer and cofounder and CEO of Aingel.
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