7 data science start-ups shaking up AI and analytics

15 Oct 2020

Image: © Drazen/Stock.adobe.com

As the world of data science continues to evolve, we take a look at seven start-ups developing interesting technologies.

Click here for more articles from our Data Science Week.

It’s Data Science Week here on Siliconrepublic.com, so to mark the occasion we’re taking a look at seven start-ups seeking ways to solve a variety of problems using data science.

Among our selection of start-ups is a business that wants to make machine learning an accessible tool for anybody; a start-up developing automated data extraction technology; and a company using analytics to monitor and take early action against skin cancer.


Apheris is a Berlin-based AI start-up that was founded in 2019 by Robin Rohm and Michael Hoh, and aims to help companies run analytics on decentralised datasets. Investors in the start-up include LocalGlobe, Dig Ventures and former Google CFO Patrick Pichette, among others.

Apheris has created technology that enables companies to collaborate securely and build privacy-preserving data ecosystems using cryptography.

Data stays local and under the full control of the data owners, while the start-up brings the computations to the data. Apheris has geared its tech towards industries such as pharmaceuticals, chemistry, manufacturing, insurance, cybersecurity and telecoms.


Headquartered in Oregon, BigML was founded in 2011 with the goal of designing and building a platform that would make machine learning accessible to everyone.

The company has built a consumable, programmable and scalable machine learning platform that makes it easier to solve and automate classification, regression, time series forecasting, cluster analysis, anomaly detection, association discovery and topic modelling tasks.

According to BigML, the start-up’s technology has been used by more than 131,000 users. It also promotes machine learning in academia through its education programme, which has reached more than 600 universities.

Cinnamon AI

Tokyo-based Cinnamon AI was founded in 2012 and is now led by CEO and co-founder Miku Hirano. The company counts Mizuho Corporate Bank and SBI Investment among its investors.

It has created an AI-powered document reader, Flex Scanner, that can automate data extraction from unstructured documents. The technology is primarily targeted towards financial services and it aims to eliminate repetitive tasks to extend human potential.

In addition to the company’s Asian presence, with offices in Tokyo, Vietnam and Taiwan, it began expansion into the US in 2018 with the opening of an office in Silicon Valley to fuel development of its AI platform and products.

In addition to its data extraction tool, Cinnamon AI has also built a recommendation engine that matches users with products in a variety of verticals; as well as a chatbot that supports natural language to transcribe records at call centres.


Dataiku is a New York-headquartered start-up that was founded by Clément Stenac, Florian Douetteau, Marc Batty and Thomas Cabrol in 2013. It has built a centralised data platform that supports businesses working with analytics at scale and enterprise AI.

The company’s goal is to bring data analysts, engineers and scientists together to create self-service analytics, while operationalising machine learning. Analysts, scientists and engineers can collaborate on the platform to explore, prototype, build and deliver their own data products more efficiently.

Dataiku counts Unilever, General Electric and Comcast among its customers. Its goal is to help clients grow along with the data they’re collecting to provide more opportunities for business-impacting models and creative solutions.


Massachusetts-headquartered DataKitchen was co-founded by Christopher Bergh, Eric Estabrooks and Gil Benghiat in 2013.

The company has built an end-to-end data-ops platform that automates the people, tools and environments in a data analytics organisation – covering everything from orchestration, testing and monitoring to development and deployment.

The technology aims to help data analytics businesses orchestrate with their favourite tools, reduce errors through automated tests in the development and production pipeline, create repeatable work environments to help teams make changes and experiment without breaking production, and deploy new features with the push of a button.


DataRobot is a Boston-based business that has created AI technology and return-on-investment enablement services for businesses competing in what it describes as today’s “intelligence revolution”.

The start-up was founded in 2012 by Jeremy Achin and Thomas DeGodoy and has since gone on to raise $431m in funding. Its most recent funding round was led by Sapphire Ventures in September 2019, with the aim of furthering the development of DataRobot’s platform.

Its technology has been used by companies such as Walmart Canada, Deloitte, Kroger and Hearst Magazines. The platform can be used by executives and analytics leaders, data scientists, business analysts, software engineers and IT operations.

Skin Analytics

Skin Analytics is a UK start-up that was founded by Neil Daly in 2012. The start-up has developed and tested an AI platform that aims to detect skin cancer at an early stage, to help those who need medical help get it sooner while giving peace of mind to those who don’t need medical assistance.

The start-up’s technology builds a digital history of each user’s skin so that doctors can measure, track and better understand it. The company has won awards from the NHS Innovation Accelerator, Digital Health London and UK Business Angels Association.

Skin Analytics also has a partnership with Bupa health insurance to provide remote skin assessment services. Last month, the company closed a £4m Series A round, which will fund its expansion into the US.

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Kelly Earley was a journalist with Silicon Republic