Internet of things News

The 10 Hottest AI Startups Of 2021 (So Far)

Wade Tyler Millward

Aisera, the producer of conversational AI and RPA tools. Eightfold.AI, which offers a way to manage the talent and skills of employees. And Soul Machines, creator of lifelike digital avatars. See who else made CRN’s annual list of the hottest AI startups of 2021 so far.


Top Executive: Sam Liang, CEO and founder

Headquarters: Los Altos, Calif.
Otter provides users an AI-powered tool to record and review conversations in real time. The platform allows users to search past conversations, edit transcripts and organize them from any device. The company markets its tool for business meetings, classes and other use cases.

Users can train the tool to recognize voices and learn frequently used terminology, according to the website.

In May, Otter launched the Otter Assistant tool for business users to automatically join Zoom meetings on a user’s calendar and record and share notes with other meeting participants, even if they didn’t attend. The tool works with Google and Microsoft Outlook calendars. The app also works with Google Meet and other video conferencing platforms.

In February, the company raised a $50 million Series B round of funding to triple its employee base and increase marketing efforts. Kurt Apen -- who previously worked for Coursera, Disney Mobile Games and eBay -- also joined the company as its first chief marketing officer, according to a statement from the time. The app was used in more than 230 countries and transcribed more than 100 million meetings, spanning 3 billion minutes.

Otter was founded in 2016 and has raised $73 million to date, according to Crunchbase.

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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