The 10 Hottest AI Startups Of 2021

Wade Tyler Millward

Startups Edifius, Eightfold AI and Orbital Insight are just some of the companies to grab CRN’s attention, as an IDC report puts revenue from the worldwide AI market in 2021 at $341.8 billion, up 15.2 percent year over year.

Orbital Insight 

Kevin O’Brien, CEO  

Orbital Insight provides an AI-powered geospatial analytics platform to help users with algorithms, monitor anomalies, conduct research and perform due diligence, among other use cases.

The platform can detect vehicles, aircraft, ships and other objects, according to the Palo Alto, Calif.-based company. It can determine land use, track movement and measure trends such as foot and car traffic.

The company was founded in 2013 and has raised $128.7 million to date, according to Crunchbase. In August, Orbital Insight released a supply chain intelligence offering combining AI, multisource data and location analysis to assist with upstream and downstream activities. Users include Unilever, RBC Capital Markets and Meyers Research.

The company’s investors include Sequoia Capital, Google Ventures, Goldman Sachs and Bloomberg Beta, according to the company.

This year, the company won a 2021 Amazon Web Services Global Public Sector Partner Award for “most customer obsessed mission-based win.” Other strategic partners include Microsoft Azure, Booz Allen Hamilton and Airbus, according to the company.

Before joining Orbital Insight in 2016 as its COO, current CEO Kevin O’Brien worked at FactSet for more than two years. He left the company with the title of regional director for the Americas, global banking and brokerage, middle market.

He also worked for about 11 years at Revere Data, leading the company as CEO before its acquisition by FactSet. In addition, O’Brien worked at Reuters Group for about seven years, according to his LinkedIn bio.

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Wade Tyler Millward

Wade Tyler Millward is an associate editor covering cloud computing and the channel partner programs of Microsoft, IBM, Red Hat, Oracle, Salesforce, Citrix and other cloud vendors. He can be reached at

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