Brianna White

Staff member
Jul 30, 2019
AI and the cloud.png

Artificial intelligence is transforming cloud computing as we know it, as evidenced by Forbes’ latest Cloud 100 list of the sector’s best privately-held companies. This year, AI is everywhere: New No. 1 OpenAI and No. 2 Databricks are supplying tools to help companies build AI features. No. 3 Stripe, a fintech company, adopted the tech to combat fraud; No. 4 Canva embedded AI features into its design software; No. 7 Grammarly launched a writing assistant that uses AI to spit out paragraphs of text almost instantaneously.

“The feeling I get talking to customers is everyone feels like this is a technology of transformation targeted specifically at their industry,” Dario Amodei, CEO of list newcomer No. 73 Anthropic, told Forbes. “Except, it’s targeted specifically at every industry.”

San Francisco-based Anthropic, which makes a ChatGPT rival called Claude, is one of seven list newcomers growing rapidly thanks to the AI boom. Infrastructure providers like Databricks and No. 44 Dataiku are also benefiting. “AI is a bright spot” in the otherwise “subdued” tech sector, said Mary D’Onofrio, a partner at Bessemer Venture Partners, which works with Forbes to create the list (see here for a full breakdown of methodology).

Anthropic, which Amodei and six cofounders defected from OpenAI to start just two years ago, only began selling to business customers in February 2023. But the company told Forbes it already has “many hundreds of paying customers” on Claude for use cases spanning from legal document analysis to speech-based language translation. In May, the company said it had raised $450 million in funding led by venture capital firm Spark Capital, with contributions from Google and Salesforce. Per data provider PitchBook, its valuation hit $5 billion.

Anthropic and No. 85 Midjourney, the company behind the popular image generator, also represent the promise of a new wave of AI-native companies poised to remake the software landscape. Whereas the majority of this year’s Cloud 100 companies are at least 10 years old and employ 1,000-plus employees, these two startups were both founded in 2021 and have some 200 employees or less.

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