AI Startup Roundup: The Startup that Blew Away OpenAI

Also - An enterprise AI assistant startup and Israeli company using AI for underground mapping

Deborah Yao, Editor

March 4, 2024

4 Min Read
Photo of a robot

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Funding news


Figure is an AI startup that is building general purpose AI robots to do a variety of tasks meant for people. Historically, robots used by enterprises are single-purpose robots.

Based in Sunnyvale, California, Figure said it has signed a partnership with OpenAI to develop next generation AI models for robots - combining the strengths of both startups.

OpenAI entered into the deal because “we see a path with Figure to explore what humanoid robots can achieve when powered by highly capable multimodal models. We’re blown away by Figure’s progress to date,” said Peter Welinder, its vice president of product and partnerships.

Added Figure founder and CEO Brett Adcock: “AI and robotics are the future.” 

Last month, it struck a deal with BMW to build general purpose autonomous humanoid robots for auto manufacturing.

The team at Figure includes staff from Boston Dynamics, Tesla, Google DeepMind and others.

Latest funding: $675 million, series B

Investors: Microsoft, OpenAI Startup Fund, Nvidia, Bezos Expeditions (Jeff Bezos’ personal fund), Parkway Venture Capital, Intel Capital, Align Ventures and ARK Invest

Funding plans: Funding will be used strategically for scaling up AI training, robot manufacturing, expanding engineering staff and advancing commercial deployment efforts.


Glean offers an AI-powered assistant using its search and RAG technology to retrieve up-to-date and relevant information for large language models such that they generate highly personalized answers based on a company’s knowledge base. It is based in Palo Alto, California.

Latest funding: $200 million

Lead investors: Kleiner Perkins, Lightspeed Venture Partners

Other funding: Sequoia Capital, Coatue, ICONIQ Growth, IVP, Capital One Ventures, Citi, Databricks Ventures, Workday Ventures and support from existing investor General Catalyst

Funding plans: It will enable the startup to develop a secure, comprehensive and intuitive enterprise AI platform of the future.


Israeli startup Exodigo uses AI for underground mapping to minimize the need to break ground to find pipes, cables and other assets. It claims to find 20% to 30% more utility lines than other locators and reduces preliminary digging and drilling by up to 90%.

Latest funding: $105 million, series A

Lead investors: Greenfield Partners, Zeev Ventures

Other funding: SquarePeg, 10D VC, JIBE and National Grid Partners

Funding plans: Build out its global team, accelerate development of a self-service product line and support expansion into new markets


Silicon Valley startup AiDash is an enterprise SaaS company that uses satellites and AI to analyze vegetation, weather and other risks facing critical infrastructure such as electric and gas utilities.

Latest funding: $50 million, series C

Lead investor: Lightrock

Other investors: SE Ventures, G2 Venture Partners, Benhamou Global Ventures, National Grid Partners, Edison International, Shell Ventures and others.

Funding plans: Funds will be used to fuel growth and double its team to 600 over the next two years. It also plans to open a European headquarters and continue to expand abroad.


Paris-based Photoroom offers an AI-powered photo editor that has been downloaded more than 150 million times in over 180 countries. It processes over five billion images a year.

Latest funding: $43 million, series B

Lead investors: Balderton, Aglae

Other investor: Y Combinator

Funding plans: Funds will be used to expand model capabilities by investing in more GPUs, securing imagery from leading image providers and photographers and doubling the size of the team by the end of 2024.


Novity developed a solution that it said can predict equipment failures with over 85% accuracy. Its technology combines machine learning and physics-based models. The San Carlos, California-based startup is a spin out from the former Xerox PARC, a research and development center behind some of Silicon Valley’s biggest tech developments.

Latest funding: $7.8 million, 

Lead investor: WERU Investment

Other investors: Myriad Venture Partners, Metawater Co. and others

Funding plans: Funds will be used to further enhance its TruPrognostics AI platform, get more customers and improve its software product.


Zurich, Switzerland-based Chiral is a nanotechnology company developing the next generation of electronics by using high-speed, automated, robotic machines to place micrometer- or nanometer-sized materials on small chips.

Latest funding: $3.8 million, pre-seed

Lead investors: Founderful, HCVC

Other funding: Grants from ETH Zurich and Venture Kick

Funding plans: Accelerate development of its next machine and expand its team.

About the Author(s)

Deborah Yao


Deborah Yao runs the day-to-day operations of AI Business. She is a Stanford grad who has worked at Amazon, Wharton School and Associated Press.

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