The 10 Hottest AI Startups Of 2022 (So Far)

Diligent Robotics, Metropolis Technologies and TimeZest are just some of the AI startups that have made CRN’s list.

Robots that relieve nurses of repetitive tasks, computer vision to improve the parking experience and an automatic scheduling tool aimed at managed service providers are among the hottest artificial intelligence startups CRN has seen so far in 2022.

Diligent Robotics, Metropolis Technologies and TimeZest are just some of the AI startups that have made CRN’s list.

Offers from these AI startups of tools that can bring in new revenue for businesses, help them bring in revenue faster and save on operational costs could prove a winning message at a time when the United States faces high inflation and a possible recession.


What AI Startups Made CRN’s List?

The following companies are on CRN’s list:

Read more about how these startups made it to CRN’s 10 Hottest AI Startups Of 2022 (So Far).

AI Squared

CEO: Benjamin Harvey

Headquarters: Washington, D.C.


AI Squared provides low-code, drag-and-drop models for users to gain AI-generated insights from their web applications, skipping time-consuming development cycles.

The Washington, D.C.-based startup integrates machine learning models such as PyTorch, Keras and TensorFlow with commercial apps from Salesforce, SAP, Microsoft, Oracle and other vendors, according to AI Squared.

In June, AI Squared announced that it raised $6 million in a seed round of financing. NEA led the round, with participation from Ridgeline Partners. The money will go toward product development and hiring, according to the startup.

Before he founded AI Squared last year, CEO Benjamin Harvey worked at Maxar Technologies for more than a year, according to his LinkedIn. He left with the title of data science director.

He previously worked at Databricks for more than a year, according to his LinkedIn. He left in 2020 with the title of solutions architect and data scientist.

Harvey worked at the National Security Agency for about 10 years, according to his LinkedIn. He left in 2019 with the title of chief of operations for data science.


CEO: David Karandish

Headquarters: St. Louis


Capacity brings conversational AI to a support automation platform for the entire technology stack. The platform’s goal is to answer user questions and automate repetitive support tasks, such as asking about the company insurance plan or getting travel reimbursements.

The St. Louis-based startup has a partner program for distributors, outsourcers, service providers and other business types, according to Capacity.

In January, Capacity closed an additional $27 million for its Series C round of financing, bringing the round’s total to more than $38 million, according to the company. Capacity promised to use the money toward hiring and enhanced product capabilities.

The company reported a 124 percent growth in annual recurring revenue year over year at the time.

Before CEO David Karandish founded Capacity in 2017, he served as CEO of question-and-answer website Answers for about five years, according to his LinkedIn.


CEO: Leena Joshi

Headquarters: Palo Alto, Calif.


CloseFactor targets chief revenue officers, chief marketing officers, account executives and business development representatives with its offering of automated sales research tools so that teams know what customer accounts to focus on and which customers are likely to buy.

The Palo Alto, Calif.-based startup promises tenfold the pipeline in three weeks, 40 percent of time saved on list building and 30 percent pipeline growth quarter over quarter, according to CloseFactor.

In June, CloseFactor announced that it secured a $4.5 million seed round of funding. Sequoia Capital led the round.

Before she co-founded CloseFactor in 2019, CEO Leena Joshi worked at Petuum for about a year, according to her LinkedIn. She left Petuum with the title of vice president of market development.

At Petuum, she “ran marketing and inside sales as part of the GTM team,” according to her LinkedIn.

Joshi previously served as vice president of product marketing at Redis Labs, according to her LinkedIn. She left Redis in 2018 after more than three years with the company.

During her time with Redis, Joshi “defined and executed the go to market and content strategy for Redis and Redis Enterprise” and “defined and executed content for website, webinars, videos, email campaigns, nurture flows, banner advertisements and keywords for SEO/SEM to generate demand, educate and grow the customer base,” according to her LinkedIn.

Her resume includes more than five years with Splunk, according to LinkedIn. She left Splunk in 2015 with the title of senior director of solutions marketing.

At Splunk, she “led a team of senior product marketing professionals focused on” Splunk’s different submarkets and “established metrics for calibrating go to market success in the different markets and processes for collaborating on messaging, positioning and go to market,” according to her LinkedIn.

Diligent Robotics

CEO: Andrea Thomaz

Headquarters: Austin, Texas


Diligent Robotics makes service robots and AI aimed at relieving nurses and clinical care teams so that they can spend more time with patients and helping health care organizations with nursing shortages.

The Austin, Texas-based startup has a flagship robot called Moxi, which started commercial deployments in 2020. Moxi can deliver supplies to nurses so that they don’t need to leave patients. Moxi has an AI framework with social intelligence, mobile manipulation and human-guided learning, according to Diligent.

Moxi implements in weeks and has locking compartments for sensitive samples and materials. The robot can work elevators and doors. Sensors on the robot help it navigate around people and obstacles.

In April, Diligent closed a $30 million Series B round of financing. Tiger Global led the round, according to the company. The money will go toward supply chain improvement, speeding up robot deployment and more interoperability with electronic health records and clinical communications.

CEO Andrea Thomaz co-founded Diligent in 2017, according to her LinkedIn. She has also been an adjunct faculty member and senior research scientist at the University of Texas at Austin since 2016.

Lightning AI

CEO: William Falcon

Headquarters: New York


A new name, a new round of funding and the promise of an operating system for AI make Lightning AI a startup to watch.

In June, the New York-based startup announced a rebrand from and a $40 million Series B round of funding for its platform and framework that provides a way to build AI-enabled products and services as applications with modular components.

Coatue led the Series B round, with participation from Index, Bain, First Minute Capital and the Chainsmokers’ Mantis VC. The money will go toward AI research and the user community.

Lightning AI provides a platform for building models and finding, cloning and publishing machine learning workflow templates to reduce app building to days, not months, according to the company.

The company has seen 20 million-plus downloads, 10,000-plus organization users and 600-plus contributors, according to Lightning. Lightning apps can run locally, on premises, in the cloud and in multiple clouds, among other environments.

Apps available on Lightning’s website include one that allows for descriptive searching within videos and one for training models on images or text datasets without code.

Before he founded the startup in 2019, CEO William Falcon co-founded NextGenVest and worked at the startup as chief technology officer, according to his LinkedIn. In 2018, financial technology company CommonBond bought NextGenVest.

Falcon created and open-sourced lightweight PyTorch wrapper PyTorch Lightning in 2019. He also attained the rank of captain with the United States Air Force, according to his LinkedIn.

Metropolis Technologies

CEO: Alex Israel

Headquarters: Santa Monica, Calif.


AI and computer vision to improve parking is the mission of Metropolis Technologies.

This Santa Monica-based startup offers a platform for users to pay for parking facilities without taking out credit cards or phones. Users also receive promotions for surrounding businesses.

The company operates more than 600 parking lots and garages and partners with thousands of local retailers. It has about 2 million members, according to Metropolis.

In June, Metropolis raised $167 million in a Series B round of funding. 3L Capital and Assembly Ventures led the round with participants including Dragoneer Investment Group, Eldridge, Silver Lake Waterman and former Deputy Mayor of New York City Dan Doctoroff.

In March, Metropolis acquired parking facilities operator Premier Parking, according to the company.

Before he co-founded Metropolis in 2017, CEO Alex Israel worked at traffic intelligence company Inrix for about three years, according to his LinkedIn. He worked as a vice president and general manager before leaving the company in 2018 as an adviser.

Israel came to Inrix through the 2015 acquisition of ParkMe, a startup he co-founded in 2009, according to his LinkedIn.


CEO: Swapnil Jain

Headquarters: San Francisco


Observe.AI’s Intelligent Workforce Platform brings AI to contact centers. The platform promises ways to boost employee productivity through evaluations and coaching powered by AI and greater visibility into customer conversations, with the goal of improving customer experience.

The San Francisco-based startup provides an AI engine trained on more than 10 million calls, with the ability to separate speakers on transcripts, detect types of silence, automatically redact sensitive information and identify negative and positive emotions during a conversation.

Observe.AI’s partner ecosystem includes master agents Telarus, Avant and Intelisys, according to the company.

In April, Observe.AI announced that it raised $125 million in a Series C round of funding, according to the company. The money is meant for research and development and growing the go-to-market team for direct and channel-based deals.

Before he co-founded Observe.AI in 2017, CEO Swapnil Jain worked at Twitter for more than three years, according to his LinkedIn. He left Twitter with the title of technical team lead.


CEO: Jim Gao

Headquarters: Seattle


Phaidra provides self-learning control systems for data centers, manufacturing plants, steel mills and other mission-critical, industrial facilities.

The Seattle-based startup promises that companies can reduce energy consumption and improve thermal stability with Phaidra’s AI-based tools.

The systems take in temperatures, load weight, setpoints and other data from the facility and evaluate billions of possible actions, automatically implementing the best actions, according to the startup.

In July, Phaidra closed a $25 million Series A round of funding, according to the company. The money will go toward technology deployment. Starshot Capital led the round. Helena, Ahren Innovation Capital, and DeepMind co-founder Mustafa Suleyman and existing investors Flying Fish, Section 32 and Character participated.

Before he co-founded Phaidra in 2019, CEO Jim Gao worked at Google and its AI subsidiary DeepMind for more than eight years, according to his LinkedIn.

He left as the leader of DeepMind’s energy team, using AI to combat climate change. His efforts resulted in 40 percent energy savings in cooling at Google data centers and 20 percent revenue increase at Google’s wind farms, according to his LinkedIn.


CEO: Gerwai Todd

Headquarters: Tampa, Fla.


TimeZest provides managed service providers with scheduling automation that integrates with Autotask and ConnectWise.

The goal is to save MSPs time and cut down on no-shows, according to the Tampa, Fla.-based company. Clients get a scheduling link from the MSP, with times based on employees’ real-time availability. Tickets and internal notes are updated, too.

Service provider users include F1 Solutions, Stratosphere Networks and Tech Experts, according to TimeZest.

Recent updates to TimeZest include new “business hours” and “business days” options for scheduling, according to the company. TimeZest is also working on new configurable workflow actions that run in response to certain triggers. The workflows should allow for more integrations and more flexibility for users.

Before he co-founded TimeZest in 2020, CEO Gerwai Todd founded another AI-based tool provider for partners, Triafy. Todd continues to serve as Triafy’s president, according to his LinkedIn account. Triafy focused on simplifying information triages when opening new service tickets.

He previously served as chief operating officer at MSP training provider CharTec, according to his LinkedIn. Todd left CharTec in 2018.

Todd worked at ConnectWise for more than seven years, according to his LinkedIn. He left the company in 2016 with the title of director of corporate business development.


CEO: Maja Schaefer

Headquarters: New York


Zowie provides AI-powered chatbots for ecommerce brands such as L’Oreal and Avon.

The New York-based company provides chatbots with 100 common questions without training and plugs into all ecommerce and marketing platforms, according to Zowie. It promises two hours saved per customer service agent a day with 70 percent of tickets automated after four weeks.

The chatbots even work to turn a customer service conversation into a money-making opportunity, promising a 10 percent increase in revenue.

Zowie has a partner program for service providers. Members receive a partnership manager, hands-on training, marketing and product materials and other benefits, according to the company.

In May, Zowie announced the close of a $14 million Series A round of financing. Tiger Global Management led the round. Google’s AI-focused fund Gradient Ventures, 10xFounders, Inovo and Lattice CEO Jack Altman participated. The money was meant for expanding capabilities and hiring more salespeople for international growth.

Before she founded the startup in 2019, CEO Maja Schaefer was CEO and cofounder of custom software developer Codeheroes, according to her LinkedIn.

Schaefer was also a software engineer at IBM for more than two years, according to her LinkedIn. She left the company in 2015.