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Top 10 AI Startups of Asia 2020

Top 10 AI Startups of Asia 2020
Top 10 AI Startups of Asia 2020

Asia is home to 61% of the world’s population. In terms of Artificial Intelligence (AI), many countries are still in the early stages of development but have a high potential to scale returns. 

China is leading the AI technology innovation in the world. Its AI market is predicted to reach US$ 11.9 billion by 2023.

Japanese and South Korean firms have some of the highest numbers of AI patent filings, according to the World Intellectual Property Organization.

Singapore is taking a lead on a global scale in AI governance. At the 2020 World Economic Forum in Davos, its Minister for Communications and Information showcased the country’s guidelines for implementing AI responsibly, managing risks and building trust with the consumers.

AI is starting to get attention in the industrial regions of Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam as foreign investment in manufacturing shifts from China to Southeast Asia. 

India has almost doubled its AI workforce from 40,000 in 2018 to 72,000 in 2019.

Pakistan is another young and quickly growing market with an increasing focus on developing deep tech.

Here is a list of the top emerging AI startups in Asia:

1. AISpeech


Location: China

Founded in: 2008

Founders: Yu Kai and Yuandong Lin

Funding received in 2020: CN¥ 410M (US$ 61.3M)  

Investors: GoldStone Investment, CTC Capital and BAIC Capital

AISpeech is a high-tech startup focusing on computer speech recognition and analysis, tone analysis and dialog management techniques and provides Natural Language Processing (NLP) for many smart devices in the Internet of Things category (IoT). It produces its own chipset as an alternative to the ones made by tech giants like Baidu or Google. AISpeech debuted its new TH1520 voice recognition AI chip in 2019.

2. KoinWorks


Location: Indonesia

Founded in: 2015

Founders: Benedicto Haryono and Willy Arifin

Funding received in 2020: US$ 20M

Investors: Triodos Bank Germany, Saison Capital, Quona Capital and EV Growth

KoinWorks is a Peer to Peer (P2P) Fintech based in Indonesia. It is the first Indonesian P2P Lending company to be registered under and supervised by the Indonesian Financial Services Authority. KoinWorks provides a machine learning-based online platform to bring in Lenders and Borrowers together on which both parties can fulfil their needs whether to gain maximum returns on a monthly basis or to get accessible and affordable online loans.

3. Silent 8

Silent Eight
Silent Eight

Location: Singapore

Founded in: 2013

Founders: Julia Markiewicz and Martin Markiewicz

Funding received in 2020: US$ 15M

Investors: SC Ventures, OTB ventures and Altara Ventures chairman and general partner Koh Boon Hwee

Silent Eight helps financial institutions manage their compliance and risk obligations using Artificial Intelligence. They work with larger banks and other financial institutions to help them optimize their screening process for different operations. Silent Eight is the winner of the FinTech Abu Dhabi Innovation Challenge and the Monetary Authority of Singapore’s 2017 Fintech Hackcelerator award and a top fintech award in Australia, 2018. 

4. Dathena Science

Dathena Science
Dathena Science

Location: Singapore

Founded in: 2016

Founder: Christopher Muffat

Funding received in 2020: US$ 12M

Investors: Seeds Capital, MS&AD Ventures, Jungle Ventures, CerraCap Ventures and CapHorn Invest

Dathena Science was​ founded with the image of bringing a new meaning to privacy and data security protection. In an ever-growing information flow. Leveraging the power of the latest AI technologies, it is delivering cutting-edge solutions with over the top efficiency, speed and accuracy to reinvent the “privacy and data security protection journey” of its clients. It allows an organization to regain control over its various data, keep it an asset and secure it while reducing costs.

5. MakinaRocks


Location: South Korea

Founded in: 2017

Founders: Andre Yoon, Jaehyuk Lee, Sangwoo Shim and Yongsub Lim

Funding received in 2020: ₩12B (US$ 10.5M)

Investors: Shinhan Investment Corporation, LG Technology Ventures, Korea Development Bank, Hyundai Motor Company, HB Investment, Daesung Private Equity and Applied Ventures

MakinaRocks taps into AI technology for revolutionizing the manufacturing industry. By using big data and applying AI to the high-tech manufacturing sector it will make manufacturing processes more productive. It focuses on manufacturers in the semiconductor industry, automobile, steel, and speciality chemicals sectors. The startup collects and analyzes data of machines from sensors attached to them. This allows manufacturers to detect errors early on, which will help to prevent defects and improve production efficiency. 

6. AIQ 


Location: Singapore

Founded in: 2014

Founder: Marcus Tan, CEO

Funding received in 2020: ¥1.1B (US$ 10.4M)

Investors: SMBC Venture Capital, & and factory, Mizuho Capital, Hokkaido Venture Capital, Deep30 and The Shoko Chukin Bank

AIQ uses cutting-edge Computer Vision AI Technology to change the way offline content is being consumed by transforming O2O (offline to online) media properties by integrating multiple platforms and channels. This allows for seamless interaction between online & offline content. AIQ’s Video & Visual Recognition Technology supports consumers with the ability to interact with their favourite brands & products, at any location, anytime. 

7. Moneytree


Location: Japan

Founded in: 2012

Founders: Jonathan Epstein, Mark Makdad, Paul Chapman and Ross Sharrott

Funding received in 2020: ¥938.9M (US$ 8.9M)

Investor: Fidelity International

Moneytree is a personal financial management app in which users can sync their financial accounts. Moneytree links to bank accounts, credit cards & digital money, loyalty points, superannuation, and cash spending. By using AI technology, it automatically categorizes & sorts the transactions, according to time, date, place and size of each purchase across multiple accounts. The app is available on iOS and Android platforms.

8. Arloid Automation

Arloid Automation
Arloid Automation

Location: Singapore

Founded in: 2019

Founders: Maxim Zubov, Sergey Shalunov and Vladimir Pushmin

Funding received in 2020: US$ 2.5M

Investor: Ruvento

Arloid Automation builds AI solutions that are taught to automatically change Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) settings based on a comfort index that is calculated in real-time. As a result, less energy is consumed with an optimal comfort level. These solutions can be added to existing Building Management Systems and advanced data analytics tools/platforms. 

9. pumpumpum


Location: India

Founded in: 2016

Founders: Tarun Lawadia and Sameer Kalra 

Funding received in 2020: ₹24M (US$ 325k)

Investors: Kogta Financial India Limited, ICICI Bank, Canara Bank, Shobhit Shukla, Ritesh Malik, Rahul Agarwal, Pallav Pandey and EaSyndicate

pumpumpum redefines car ownership by providing IoT enabled pre-owned cars at an easy-on-the-wallet and flexible subscription for short to long-term durations without worrying about servicing & maintenance. Its vision is to make smart car ownership available for 440 million Indian millennials by providing ‘Cars as a Service’ and highlighting affordability, flexibility & minimised liabilities throughout the service.

10. Blinkware technology

Blinkware Technology
Blinkware Technology

Location: Malaysia

Founded in: 2013

Founders: Alvin Koh

Funding received in 2020: RYM 1M  (US$ 241k)

Investor: Notion VTec

Blinkware is a pioneer in Optical Recognition Technology, which utilises mainstream 2D web cameras. With machine learning, machine vision and deep learning capabilities, it has renewed the manufacturing industry. Using AIRRE technology, it eases the challenges of in-line Quality Control Management within an Industry 4.0 scenario. The cutting-edge technology AIRRE Inspect integrates mainstream 2D optical cameras to eliminate the requirement for expensive hardware. These services are highly sought after by industries worldwide.

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