Top-10 Artificial Intelligence Startups in Austria
They say that the main difference between Austrians and zee Germans is that Germans would like to understand Austrians but can’t, and Austrians understand Germans but would rather not. Wiener schnitzel, sacher cake, lederhosen, alpine pastures, ski chalets overflowing with kitsch – the clichés Austria is known for paint the picture of a bucolic mountain nation with strong traditions in questionable taste and zero interest in modern technology. This perception is quite far from the truth.
According to a representative 2017 survey, two thirds of Austrians wanted to develop a strategy for handling robots and AI for the country. The government listened, and in 2017 they established a Robot Council responsible for the development of an AI strategy and tasked with identifying opportunities and challenges in the areas of robotics, autonomous systems, and AI. The council received $1.1 million and a two-year mandate to develop this strategy.
The private sector hasn’t been idle either. We queried Crunchbase to find the Austrian AI startups that have taken in the most disclosed funding so far.
|Robart||Software for Robots||Linz||11.4|
|webLyzard technology||Social Media||Vienna||6.5|
|Cortical.io||Natural Language Understanding||Vienna||6.3|
|RateBoard||Hotels & Resorts||Innsbruck||2.1|
Founded in 2015, Vienna startup Adverity has raised $16.3 million to develop a big data platform for marketing professionals. The app connects to hundreds of data sources like Facebook, Google Ads, and LinkedIn, harmonizes campaign data, then sends the results to business management platforms via native integrations.
AI algorithms analyze and visualize costs, performance, and returns, highlight anomalies, and recommend optimal spend across all marketing channels. The product suite is available for agencies, brands, and e-commerce providers and is used by global names including Red Bull, IKEA, and Zurich Insurance.
Founded in 2009, Linz startup Robart has raised $11.4 million to develop the AI “brain” of household robots. The startup offers complete AI navigation systems including hardware, software, and attached IoT applications that can be fitted into mobile robots. With the help of Robart’s algorithms, robots can map a whole household, divide it into rooms, establish specific cleaning rules, recognize deviations like an open window, learn user habits, and adapt to changes in these habits.
For example, your autonomous vacuum cleaner will remember when the kids are asleep and won’t bother them. Or it will recognize when the house should be locked and empty, and alert the owner or security services if any entrance is left open. The AI algorithms also allow the household helper to act as a personal assistant, and proactively ask owners about habits, like when tea should be served. Robart’s algorithms are used by major electronics manufacturers such as Rowenta and Kärcher.
Founded in 2008, Vienna startup webLyzard Technology has raised $6.5 million from national and EU grants to develop a web intelligence platform that identifies opinion leaders and visualizes opinion trends across different online channels like Facebook and Twitter. The platform that relies heavily on in-depth data research builds data repositories in multiple languages and uses semantic algorithms to determine the sentiment of target audiences, analyzes these audiences, and provides insights to be used in future campaigns.
Reference projects include the US Election 2016 Web Monitor where webLyzard’s algorithms analyzed more than 200 million Twitter posts and news articles to see how stakeholders perceived the presidential race. The startup has also helped the United Nations Environment Programme to build a web intelligence solution that aligns global environmental indicators with the organization’s communications policy. Platform access starts at $850 per month for five users and is used by global companies and institutions like BMW, the US Department of Commerce, and the Austrian National Tourist Office.
Founded in 2011, Vienna startup Cortical.io has raised $6.3 million to develop natural language understanding solutions. The startup offers basic tools like keyword extraction, text comparison, or term disambiguation on its website as a free service, and then charges for its contract intelligence and customer support intelligence solutions. The former promises an 80% decrease in time spent on large-scale contract analysis by extracting entities and provisions automatically, uncovering risk exposures, and deriving other insights from company contracts. The latter builds a knowledge base from company documents, previous support cases, and technical manuals, to provide quick and accurate answers to customer support queries, decreasing the time it takes to handle requests by 70%. Cortical can also implement its engine to cover custom use cases, from social media monitoring to forensic text analytics and compliance monitoring.
Founded in 2015, Vienna startup Medicus AI has raised $5 million to develop a medical app that explains and interprets blood tests and medical reports and provides personalized healthcare advice to users based on its findings. The startup’s customers include diagnostic labs, insurance providers, clinics, and pharmaceutical companies. Medicus AI helps these healthcare institutions interact with patients by delivering easy to understand health reports, coaching patients through condition management and prevention, and monitoring patient behavior remotely to improve long-term health outcomes. The app’s so-called medical reasoning engine is built on proven medical literature sourced from 1,500 unique sources and mimics the exact reasoning doctors use when looking at an individual’s health data. Users can access basic features for free, and the company is planning to launch premium features for a small monthly subscription fee. The app is available in English, German, French, and Arabic.
Founded in 2005, Vienna startup Semanticlabs has raised $2.1 million to develop big data analytics solutions including semantic algorithms. The boutique company manages custom data projects for corporations and startups and has worked on diverse projects including an online banking platform, a media-monitoring system, a social engagement platform, and document management applications. The startup has developed out-of-the-box solutions for topic extraction from text, automated tagging, and collaborative document handling using natural language processing algorithms. Customers include Kronen Zeitung, Austria’s largest newspaper, and Erste Group, one of the largest financial service providers in Central and Eastern Europe.
Founded in 2015, Innsbruck startup RateBoard has raised $2.1 million to develop an automated price optimization engine for hotels and resorts. The startup’s algorithms take into account historical bookings, actual bookings, competitors, market demand, weather, guest reviews, events, and holidays to come up with pricing suggestions for the next 365 days. RateBoard’s machine learning algorithms learn and predict the booking habits of guests, and the platform continuously monitors the market and provides warning of any unusual behavior or deviations. Using the tool can increase revenues by 20% on average, says the company. The application is fully automated and integrates easily with existing property management systems. Access is priced according to the number of rooms in the establishment, starting at $220 a month for hotels with less than 15 rooms. RateBoard is used by more than 300 hotels in six different countries.
Founded in 2014, Vienna startup Scarletred has raised $2.1 million to develop remote skin imaging and analysis technology for a multitude of skin conditions. The platform consists of an iOS app, a skin patch that calibrates images for varying light and distance conditions, and a web app for image analysis. Patients use the iOS app to take a picture with the skin tag and the area under scrutiny, then send it to the web interface of their healthcare provider. The web-based analytical platform then uses computer vision to automatically analyze the skin area in detail.
The platform can differentiate between 3,000 skin diseases including chronic wounds, psoriasis, and eczema, all of which affect around 400 million people worldwide. The scope of use cases varies from remote diagnostics to large-scale clinical trials. Image analysis happens in real-time, and automation takes care of 90% of data processing which translates to a lower cost. The Scarletred platform is priced according to the breadth of the use case starting from $1100 for non-commercial use cases and upwards from there.
Founded in 2017, Vienna startup Ares Genetics has raised $1.5 million to develop AI-based DNA testing for infectious disease diagnostics and therapeutics. The startup’s engine discovers and validates antimicrobial, including antibiotic, resistance markers in infectious diseases and allows precision treatment with the right medication, and the development of new, effective antibiotics. The decision-making process is supported by a continuously updated global database of genetic antibiotic resistance markers.
The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that the cost of evolving antimicrobial resistance in diseases (thanks to our excessive use of antibiotics) can be measured in 10 million human fatalities a year. This statistic is what Ares aims to mitigate. At the moment, the company provides its testing services for general research on infectious diseases and allows the development of epidemiology solutions and the tracking of emerging antibiotic resistance over time and space. In the next stage of development, the company plans to develop test kits for single patient diagnostics to be used in laboratories worldwide with a turnaround time of less than 6 hours.
Founded in 2010, Vienna startup Emotion3D has raised $1.5 million to develop technologies for 3D environment mapping and interaction. The startup uses computer vision and other sensor technologies combined with machine learning to simulate and visualize 3D scenes and understand human gestures and biometrics. Emotion3D’s tools are used in the automotive and industrial robotics industries for gesture control, environment analysis, and car passenger monitoring. The company usually customizes its algorithms to each use case and manages these projects jointly with clients. The company has a presence in Silicon Valley and has worked with names like BMW, Nvidia, and Intel.
The usual disclaimer applies here. Not all companies disclose their funding, not all companies keep Crunchbase updated, and not all of Austria’s most exciting AI startups are included in this list. What we do have here is a collection of Austrian AI startups that have received combined funding of around $55 million, not bad for a country with a population of less than 9 million. Austria’s proximity to Germany, and the fact that both countries share a common language, means there are plenty of exit opportunities in the form of larger German companies looking for some bolt-on exposure to the exciting promises of artificial intelligence.