16 innovative AI companies to watch in 2020

Kane Fulton, July 2, 2020 8 min read

The potential uses for Artificial Intelligence are huge. Among the 16 innovative AI companies we’ve highlighted below are a fitness-focused smartphone app that adapts to women’s menstrual cycle, an autonomous vehicle that uses sensors and software to dodge stray kangaroos, and an intelligent video platform that monitors cows to keep the world’s methane levels down.

The stats show that AI-driven digital tech companies in the UK are among the best in the world. According to Tech Nation Report 2020, looking at data from 2015-2019, the UK is third in the world for levels of AI investment, second by deal count, and the only country of the top five AI nations to have demonstrated consistent positive year-on-year growth for the last five years.

At the same time, there are many UK-based AI companies yet to be discovered – and we are currently searching for (and inviting) the best to apply to join our latest Applied AI (2.0) cohort. Successful companies will join a network that will unpack the AI-specific scaling journey, led by those who have done it and with the support of like-minded peers.

Until then, check out the following innovative AI companies to watch in 2020.

Wild AI


There’s many fitness apps out there, but none quite like Wild AI. ‘Sports addicts on a mission’, the London-based company has developed a smartphone app that provides the knowledge, support and power for women to perform at their best. It does so by tracking automated data (for example, from wearables) and combining it with manual data (for example, related to the user’s menstrual cycle) to suggest the ideal training regime that adapts on the fly. It’s all designed to help women understand their body and the symptoms they feel to detect correlations and patterns and learn what works best for them – during any phase of their life or cycle.



The opportunity to democratise AI and empower people and organisations is a lucrative one, and Birmingham-based Conigital (a portmanteau of ‘Connected Digital’) doesn’t plan on missing out. Its driverless vehicle platform ConICAV, which combines a whole host of technologies that make autonomous vehicles safer – including avoiding kangaroos to prevent traffic accidents – has been successfully trialled in Australia. The company has also created conOPTIUM, a cloud-based platform that takes in data – from deep neural to machine learning – to give optimised decisions at scale and in real-time.

Cattle Eye


With legislation limiting emissions from livestock, meeting demand for protein from an exponential growth in world population isn’t as simple as farming more animals. Cattle Eye is rising to the challenge by developing a deep learning video analytics platform that monitors dairy cows without the use of hardware. A disruptive tool, it provides evidence that farmers are working to the highest level of stock management, which helps to build consumer confidence which has been dented by anti-dairy marketing campaigns focusing on how intensively farmed dairy cows suffer high lameness levels.



Newcastle-based Haystack is an AI-powered platform that finds companies that are great to work for – a bit like finding a needle in a, well, you get the picture. The app works by taking jobseekers’ profile details entered into the app and applying Haystack’s algorithm to match them with suitable roles and companies. The app uses a scoring system to match users to companies that share the same values, while displaying employers’ tech stack, engineering values, company culture, and more. It’s all designed to remove the tedium of trawling through jobs boards, while suggesting companies that users may not have considered.



Learning is ultimately about retaining knowledge. Developed by two doctors from Leeds Medical School, Synap presents uses with bite-size courses and quizzes that help people prepare for everything from job interviews to exams. The SaaS platform is even backed by science; using ‘Spaced Repetition’ techniques, its learning algorithms adapt to users to present information at intervals for aiding knowledge retention. The company has made inroads into the B2B sector too, boosting employees’ grey matter in nurseries, taxi companies and beyond.



Marketing budgets have taken a hit as companies have looked to cope with Covid-19. As such, it’s more important than ever for digital agencies to help their clients eke maximum value out of their marketing spend. This is where Beacon, which is headquartered in London with a development team in Leeds, comes in. The company’s cloud-based marketing intelligence dashboard provides a holistic view of marketing performance – everything from measuring campaigns to tracking links on the web. Intrigued? To get an understanding of how much your campaigns may be underperforming due to a combination of click fraud from bots, in addition to disengaged visitor traffic, give its five-second online calculator a spin.

Okko Health


Until now, getting your eyesight checked has involved a trip to an eye clinic. While that is still the case, to a degree, people can now accurately measure their sight from home using Okko Health’s smartphone app. This can lead to early detection and prompt treatment of eye diseases, saving time and cost for both the patient and eye clinic. The Bristol-based company has built the app to measure vision across dimensions, which it says can pick up the nuances of sight that can get lost in a regular eye chart.



Covid-19 has led to unprecedented demand on the NHS. Helping to reduce pressure on healthcare systems is Oxford’s Navenio, which has adapted its AI-powered indoor location solution. The software tracks workers’ movements using their smartphone in real-time, accurate to a few meters, allowing staff to be re-assigned to ensure they are deployed effectively. Porters and cleaners, for example, can be quickly identified and directed to clean a high-risk infection area. No wonder Navenio is dubbed ‘Uber for Healthcare Teams’.



The pandemic has seen a boom in the use of video conferencing solutions, and it’s an area where Edinburgh-based FinTech Aveni believes there will be a transition from general-purpose tools to bespoke solutions designed for specific industries. It’s here that the company is looking to transform the advice industry through its videoconferencing-based AI solutions, Connect and Connect+, which combine software engineering with natural language processing. Together they allow their customers to connect with clients, digitise service and apply the latest in AI innovation to enhance client interaction. The company raised £520,000 in June to accelerate its growth and grow its special team of engineers.

Talent Ticker


Cardiff-based Talent Ticker wants to be ‘Bloomberg for recruitment’, which is evident by its eye-catching homepage that features a data-packed dashboard. The self-proclaimed ‘world’s first predictive talent management platform’ uses AI and machine learning to check job postings and recruitment news to predict when companies will be hiring and firing. Its data intelligence caters for a range of different areas – including HR; recruitment; executive search; management consultancy; and financial services. The company completed a £1.5m seed round in late 2019 to develop its technology and hire more staff.

Analytics Engines


Based in Belfast, Analytics Engines develops innovative AI and machine learning technologies that help to automate time and labour-intensive processes. Used by customers including The National Gallery and Queen’s University Belfast, its tailored data solutions help organisations to make decisions more effectively and efficiently. The company’s many areas of expertise include data integration; computer vision; data science; semantic search; text analytics; graph analytics; and visualisations. Most recently, the company helped Innovate UK to respond to the unique challenges of the the pandemic.



An award-winning, AI-driven people analytics company, Manchester’s Personalyze is on a mission to help companies better understand their customers. Its patent-pending tech consists of two profiling technologies called Social Intelligence and Emotional Intelligence that can profile people on an individual basis across their social footprint in real-time. In addition, Personalyze’s algorithm can determine people’s personalities from their media consumption behaviour with the same accuracy a 60-minute written psychometric test – all without them knowing. The company’s latest product, called TopicDNA, optimises social campaign audiences and budgets to supercharge performance and maximize efficiency.

Recourse Medical


Based in Manchester, Recourse is the world’s first medical online course platform with AI-telehealth patient simulations. Ran directly from a browser, its simulated patient encounters allow grads and undergrads to engage in voice (or text) based virtual simulated consultations, with patient avatars from varying clinical presentations and demographics. The service can be tailored for those in medical education, nursing programmes and other healthcare systems. It’s also collaborative too boot, featuring secure custom online courses that make videos and documents instantly accessible to individuals and teams.

Caspian Learning


Anti-Money Laundering (AML) investigating is a slow process that relies on manual, outdated and human-intensive processes – but banks can’t go without it. Revolutionising in this field is Newcastle-based RegTech Caspian learning, developer of AML Investigator. The platform reduces any bank’s compliance risk with consistent and automated expert-level investigations, making it possible to carry out risk-based due diligence at the level of human experts – only at machine scale. Not only does this reduce risk management, it also reduces costs and improves efficiencies that only digital automation can provide.



Based in Cambridge, Robok operates in stealth mode – so you won’t find out a great deal about what it does on its website. However, the fact that the company’s growing team came from organisations including Arm, Bloomberg and Cambridge Computer Lab says a lot about its ambition. The VC-backed Cambridge University spin-out builds cost-effective AI-based perception algorithms for low-power computing platforms. Its solutions, which revolve around advanced driving and Industry 4.0, include sensor fusions to build and validate smart driver assistance systems, in addition to those designed for industrial automation and efficiency.

Continuum Industries


Continuum Industries’ founders are used to designing the future, having met at the University of Edinburgh when working on SpaceX’s Hyperloop project. Today, they are applying their infrastructure expertise to Optioneer, a cloud-based software solution used by major engineering firms to design linear infrastructure projects such as rail, roads, pipelines and power cables. Powered by evolutionary algorithms, a soft type of artificial intelligence, it allows the capture of unlimited geospatial and engineering detail for iterating through millions of design options to find the best ones. The company says that this approach allows users to bring much higher levels of detail into the design process at an earlier stage and reduce the time spent on design by an order of magnitude.

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