Top 10 Underrated AI Startups We like

Top 10 Underrated AI Startups We like

Discover 10 underrated AI startups we love at Shape Labs.


Written by Mirna, Ljubljana, 2023

Artificial intelligence (AI) has emerged as a critical factor behind ground-breaking innovations in the constantly changing world of technology. And promising AI startups are here to improve user experiences and transform industries ahead. While many well-known AI startups frequently make the news (OpenAI, Midjourney, or Bard …), an entire ecosystem of underappreciated AI startups should earn recognition for their outstanding contributions too.

With AI becoming one of the world's most important engines of innovation, creativity, and development, we looked at the top 10 AI startups to keep an eye on in 2023.

Here are the top 10 AI startups we like this month

1. Runway

Runway (creative software) could turn into a new-age film studio! This generative Ai startup focuses on the action of our prompting & so we don’t have to worry about our acting, lighting, or filming anything at all!

Their next-generation AI content creation is out of the league! The newest, Gen-2 multi-modal AI system can generate astonishing videos with text, images, or video clips and is developing at (almost) light speed.

Runway is also one of the two Ai startups behind another popular text-to-image model Stable Diffusion. It has raised $500 million in funding at the end of 2022 to develop its suite of 30 AI-powered tools further.

kamni-article.jpg Source: Vanity Fair

Fun fact: Runway's gear was used to generate visual effects for various scenes in Everything Everywhere at Once, which won seven Oscars, including best picture.

2. Waabi

Waabi (autonomous driving) - Sit back & enjoy how a female CEO overtakes the trucking industry! Raquel Urtasun, previous head of Uber’s Advanced Technologies Group in Toronto and +20 years expert in AV (Autonomous Vehicles) and co-founder of the Vector Institute for AI, raised $84 million for her new venture Waabi in 2021. Now they focus on automating self-driving trucks on commercial delivery routes with machine learning.

If you’re a Truck Simulator fan, keep an eye on this one :) But the truth is that the trucking industry is facing many problems, such as driver shortages, increased freight demand, and elongated transit distances. So naturally, there is ongoing growth in the number of companies competing to be the first to deploy self-driving robot trucks. This includes well-funded firms such as Waymo, TuSimple, and Aurora; and smaller startups too. But Waabi stepped further and joined forces with Volvo Group in 2023.

Waabi unveiled its first-generation self-driving truck in 2022. With their groundbreaking AI-first approach, they’re testing different sensor placements on a digital twin of the truck itself and can test the entire system in their driving simulation! Can’t wait where their road leads the world.

3. (chatbot app) could seem very similar to Chat-GPT, but it is developing its own massive language models. On top of that, it already provides millions of free celebrity-toned chatbots, such as Elon Musk, Tony Stark, Socrates, and Nintendo's Mario. They are leaning towards the most human-like chat experiences in AI so far.

Fun, but also pro. This new AI startup, funded in 2021 by two former Google employees, raised $250 million and is valued at $1 billion by Andreessen Horowitz (VC firm).

“There are some overlaps, but we’re confident Google will never do anything fun … Because we worked there.” ~ Daniel De Freitas, co-founder

The main characters of ultimately won over the investors at the family dinner and grabbed their attention as the top AI company to invest in.

4. Anything World

Anything World (3D modeling) is an innovative platform for building worlds populated with whatever you can dream of - combining AI, voice computing, and layers of behavioral intelligence in 3D rendering!

Making the metaverse experience easier and more inclusive, Anything World enables developers to create interactive 3D experiences up to 40% faster and at a lower cost than competitors. There is no other service automating the rigging and animation of any 3D models other than Anything World.

They have over 7,500 creators building with Anything World for Unity at the moment, and the latest news about this AI startup is their fresh (march 2023) partnership with only the most potent real-time 3D creation tool so far — Unreal Engine!


The idea of (healthcare) was driven by a story of a patient who passed away due to delayed access to the operating room. Systemic - but avoidable issues inspired founders to start not just changing the industry but radically transforming it. relies on AI to speed up medical care coordination, decreasing systemic delays that keep patients from receiving life-saving treatments. Their AI tool can cross-reference CT images with its database to speed up the disease detection process. CEO ensures that the process with their solutions is 250x quicker than a similar medical check-up by a medical specialist, as it’s done in a minute instead of hours of hard work.

This San Francisco AI startup raised $150 million, signed nearly 900 hospitals & is listed on Forbes The AI 50 list for the third time in a row. is already expanding to other areas and we hope they spread their novel AI technology to improve clinical productivity and patient care worldwide.


If you’re reading this, you’re probably interested in startups and have many ideas stuck in your head. If only it were as easy to pitch them and present as it looks in your mind, right?

Well, (creative software) had the same idea. This generative AI startup was made on our Top 10 list because they made a straightforward and easy-to-use AI solution that helps you create (powerpoint-like) presentations in seconds - just by promoting. It’s a great design tool to boost a team’s productivity and can help create company strategy, sales, and business pitches, customer education presentations, or even sharing complex ideas.

The company went public in 2022 and raised an additional $32 million in a combination of seed and Series A funding which is meant to be used on further AI product development and completion of the Tome mobile app. According to Forbes, Tome was recently valued at $300 million.

7. Weedbot

Is there a better way of trying to eliminate weeds than with lasers? “No! Try not. Do. Or do not. There is no try,” - says Yoda. But enough with Star Wars & let’s focus on weeds and the overuse of pesticides for a moment, because they are slowly destroying our farming worlds.

That’s why agri-food startup Weedbot developed AI laser weeding system that provides high-precision laser weeding technology to make sustainable agriculture easier. Their AI-powered weed and crop recognition algorithm selects plants that need to be eliminated.

Examples-of-weed-images-with-predicted-bounding-boxes-The-bounding-boxes-with-the-same-min.png Source: Yuzhen Lu, Research Gate (Examples of weed images with predicted bounding boxes)

After loads of rounds of prototype testing WeedBot, has recently (May 2023) raised €425,000 in its latest financing round to support the development of its first commercial unit. Their laser weeder can reach speeds of up to 1.2 kilometers per hour, making it up to five times faster than manual weeding. So you can imagine the farming industry’s excitement about this improvement!

8. (creative software) is an artificial intelligence-powered content creation platform that converts written content like articles and blog posts into high-quality podcasts.

Their technology largely depends on AI to reduce podcast production time and can boost the productivity of content creation by simply turning text into voice - podcast format. It’s pretty simple to start and quickly produce entertaining and studio-quality podcasts, too, as the website includes demos, is accessible, and has a premium beta account.

This AI startup, funded in 2022 is backed by the world’s top startup accelerator Y Combinator. In the future, they are promising some big changes for podcasting - even tailor-made episodes for every listener so keep an ear to the ground!

9. Sense On

Now a trustworthy security partner, (cyber security) started as an idea about a completely rebuilt cybersecurity system at the dining table in a small London flat.

Now they unite internet safety experts, former government cyber operators, and experts in applied machine learning to provide accurate and context-rich alerts. They focus on Threat Detection, Cloud Security, fast deployment, User and Entity behavior analysis, Deep Packet Inspection, and more to keep the net safe.

In 2021, SenseOn raised $20 million in Series A funding (one of the largest in Europe) and won the World Economic Forum Technology Pioneers of 2021 award for industry honors for their revolutionary cybersecurity approach.

10. CHARM Therapeutics

CHARM Therapeutics (healthcare) brings transformative medicines to medical professionals by combining 3D deep learning and cutting-edge drug discovery technology to cure undruggable disease targets.

This interdisciplinary team of biotechnology and AI experts is working on innovative DragonFold AI technology, which is designed to create small molecule therapies against so far difficult-to-drug targets in cancer and other therapeutic areas.

This biotech AI startup to develop deep-learning-based protein-folding and to address the unmet needs in medicine, based on award-winning discoveries by David Baker and Laksh Aithani, CHARM’s co-founders. At launch, they raised $50 million in Series A financing and are supported by top investors like OrbiMed, D-Prime, Grep VC, and more.

Who would you add to the list?

If you have a great AI idea, contact us and join our list next time. But first, check out if there’s already an AI for that. :)

Ultimately, the field of AI companies is packed with hidden jewels that deserve to be recognized for their creative ideas and cutting-edge technologies. These underappreciated businesses are transforming industries and pushing AI developments in fields ranging from data analytics to intelligent virtual assistants, healthcare improvements, and even to the classics like agriculture. Their ability to change & improve industries, improve customer experiences, and contribute to research and give back to communities is more than appreciated. We’re rooting for all of you!



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Mirna Germšek