The 61 most innovative startups in the world


Innovation doesn’t just belong to Silicon Valley – it comes from everywhere.

That’s the message from the World Economic Forum sent with its annual list of the most innovative companies in the world. The list includes 61 early-stage companies whose technologies are “world changing.” They’re from, yes, Silicon Valley, but there are also several from emerging markets in Africa and South America, as well as Europe.

As industry-watchers may expect, many of the companies listed are utilising artificial intelligence, as well as a number of biotech firms and blockchain technologies.

Here are the 61 companies the World Economic Forum considers pioneers.

1928 Diagnostics — Sweden

1928 Diagnostics

1928 Diagnostics is a Swedish biotech company that has developed a platform to better diagnose infectious diseases.

Agrosmart — Brazil

Agrosmart is a Brazilian company that uses sensors, meteorological data, and image processing to provide real-time crop monitoring that helps farmers to better manage their agribusiness.

Apeel Sciences –USA

Apeel Sciences

Apeel Sciences is a food-tech startup that has created an edible coating that makes produce and fresh food last longer. Backed by Bill Gates and famed Silicon Valley venture firm Andreeseen Horowitz, the company recently introduced its longer-lasting avocados at Costco and Harps Food Stores locations throughout the Midwest.

Applied Brain Research — Canada

University of WaterlooApplied Brain Research co-founder Chris Eliasmith

Applied Brain Research is an artificial intelligence company working in the field of so-called neuromorphic computing, which uses artificial neurons to compute in a way similiar to the human brain, but using less power than traditional machine learning algorithms.

Aqua Security — Israel

Aqua SecurityAqua Security co-founders Amir Jerbi and David (Dror) Davidoff

Aqua Security (formerly known as Scalock) is an Israeli cybersecurity company helping its customers secure their modern software infrastructure. The company counts Microsoft as an investor, and Hewlett Packard Enterprise as a partner.

Armis — USA

ArmisYevgeny Dibrov and Nadir Izrael

Armis is an enterprise security company founded by Yevgeny Dibrov and Nadir Izrael, two former Google employees. Its solutions help companies secure their smart devices.

BenevolentAI — UK

Benevolent AIBenevolent AI founder Ken Mulvany

BenevolentAI is an artificial intelligence platform that helps developers build software that can take advantage of unstructured information in scientific papers, patents, clinical trial information, and from a large number of structured data sets.

Focusing on biotechnology, the UK-based startup is focused on helingp discover new drugs to treat conditions like Parkinson’s disease and rare cancers.

Bestmile — Switzerland

Screenshot/BestMileBestMile software was used in a fleet of autonomous buses in Switzerland

Bestmile is an online platform, helping companies manage and maintain their current and future fleets of autonomous cars, buses, and trucks.

Blue Vision Labs — UK

Blue Vision Labs

Blue Vision Labs is a UK-based startup making technology that allows several people to use augmented reality (AR) at the same time.

BitPesa — Kenya

Eugene Gologursky/Getty Images for Yahoo Finance/OathBitPesa CEO Elizabeth Rossiello (right)

BitPesa is an online payment platform that uses blockchain to allow users in sub-Saharan Africa to trade bitcoin.

Cadenza Innovation –USA

World Economic ForumCadenza Innovation CEO and founder Christina Lampe-Önnerud

Founded in 2012 by Swedish chemist Christina Lampe-Önnerud, Cadenza Innovations uses patented technology to make lithium-ion batteries safer, cheaper, and able to hold more energy.

CarePay — Kenya

CarePayCarePay CEO Kees Van Lede (right)

CarePay is a Kenyan company that has developed ‘mHealth Wallet’, a mobile wallet that lets users save, insure, and pay for healthcare services.

Casetext — USA

CasetextCasetext CEO Jake Heller

Casetext is a legal-tech startup that lets lawyers and their staff upload legal briefs, and then uses artificial inteligence to identify other relevant cases and documents. — USA founder Hadi Partovi is a nonprofit dedicated to expanding access to computer science in for K-12 students in schools, focusing on increasing participation by women and underrepresented minorities.

CognitiveScale — USA

CognitiveScaleCognitiveScale CEO Akshay Sabhikhi

CognitiveScale makes software that uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to organise big data sets for companies.

Colour Genomics — USA

Colour GenomicsA Colour Genomics testing kit

Colour Genomics offers affordable genetic testing to help customers understand their risk for common hereditary cancers and heart conditions.

Cohesity — USA

CohesityCohesity founder Mohit Aron

Founded by Mohit Aron, an early Google employee and the co-founder of Nutanix, storage company Cohesity was only the second enterprise software company ever to earn an investment from Japanese venture firm Softbank.


CUJO AICUJO AI CEO Einaras Gravrock

CUJO AI uses artificial intelligence to provide cybersecurity for home devices, including a feature for parental controls.

Delair — France

DelairA Delair drone

Delair uses long-range drones to gather aerial imagery, giving customers an eagle-eye view of a work site or facility. — USA, which was started by researchers in Stanford University’s artificial intelligence lab, are making the “brains” – or the software – that powers self-driving cars.

Everledger — UK

WORLDWEBFORUM/FinTech 2017Everledger CEO Leanne Kemp

Everledger is putting diamonds on the blockchain. The Everledger blockchain provides a secure ledger that tracks and stores information about the colour, carat and certificate number of each diamond. The company hopes to reduce and completely eliminate theft, illicit trafficking and fraud in the diamond and jewellery industry.


EVRYTHNGNiall Murphy, EVRYTHNG cofounder and CEO.

EVRYTHNG is a platform that allows users to easily manage and track physical objects digitally. It can, for example, let a customer track a product as it moves through their supply clain.

Fetch Robotics — USA

Photo by Steve Jennings/Getty Images for TechCrunchCEO of Fetch Robots Melonee Wise

Fetch Robotics builds autonomous robots that can work on factory floors. These robots, the company says, can be particularly helpful to those in the e-commerce business who are struggling to keep up with the likes of Amazon in order fulfillment.

Gamalon — USA


Gamalon uses artificial intelligence to understand text conversations, to help software make sense of normal human interactions.

Grid Singularity — Germany

lmhGrid Singularity co-founder Ewald Hesse

Grid Singularity is bringing blockchain to the energy sector by creating an open source decentralized energy data exchange platform that can host applications.

H55 — Switzerland

H55H55 founder André Borschberg

Founded by Swiss pilot André Borschberg, H55 produces electric propulsion systems for existing aeroplanes as well as for flying taxis and drones. Borschberg has experience in the aviation industry, as he was behind Solar Impulse 2, the experimental aircraft that successfully ran entirely on solar power.

Horizon State — Australia

Horizon StateOren Alazraki Horizon State CEO

Horizon State is an Australian company that is looking to use blockchain to make voting more secure.

Hyperloop Transportation Technologies — USA


Hyperloop Transportation Technologies is working on making the hyperloop concept – the idea of super fast travel through underground low-pressure tubes, first envisioned by Elon Musk- a reality.

Innoviz Technologies — Israel

InnovizOmer David Keilaf Innoviz CEO
Innoviz develops technology for self-driving cars, including LiDAR, a crucial piece of hardware that allows an autonomous car to percieve its surroundings.

Juvo — USA

JuvoJuvo CEO Steve Polsky

Juvo is a fintech company that allows users in developing markets to borrow small amounts money in exchange for more talk time or data on their phones, allowing users to build credit.

Malong Technologies — China

Malong TechnologiesCo-founders Matthew Scott and Dinglong Huang

Malong is a Chinese artificial intelligence startup that allow machines to recognise physical objects, like consumer products, and identify them.

ME SOLshare — Bangladesh


SOLshare has developed the world’s first peer-to-peer solar electricity trading platform. The company aims to bring power to low-income rural parts of Bangladesh.

Melonport — Switzerland

Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images for TechCrunchMelonport CEO and co-founder Mona Elisa

Melonport has created Melon, a platform for crypto token asset management.

Modern Meadow — USA

Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images for TechCrunchCo-founder and CEO of Modern Meadow Andras Forgacs

Modern Meadow makes animal-free leather using a process called biofabrication, which allows the company to grow collagen, a protein found in animal skin, without an actual animal.

My Crop Technologies — India

MyCropMyCrop founder and CEO Deepak Pareek

My Crop is an India-based agriculture platform that uses machine learning to help farmers plan their crops and planting.

Narrativ — USA

NarrativNarrative founder and CEO Shirley Chen

Narrativ allows retailers to bid for publishers to link to their stores via affiliate link.

Narrative Science — USA

YouTubeNarrative Science chief scientist Kristian Hammond

Narrative Science is a Chicago-based company that has created Quill, a platform for turning data into easy-to-understand recommendations.

OnlinePajak — Indonesia

OnlinePajakOnlinePajak founder Charles Guinot

OnlinePajak is an easy-to-use platform that lets Indonesians prepare, pay, and file taxes online.

Ovamba Solutions — USA

OvambaOvamba co-founder Viola Llewellyn

Ovamba is a mobile app that connects small business owners in Africa with investment capital.

Peloton Technology — USA


Peloton Technology connects two trucks, allowing one truck driver to control the acceleration and braking of both trucks simultaneously. The process saves both time and fuel, allowing one trucker to do the work of two.

Petuum — USA

PetuumPetuum CEO and co-founder Eric Xing

Petuum provides an platform that allows companies to build their own artificially intelligent software without the need for AI engineering expertise.

Plataforma Verde — Brazil

Chicko SousaPlataforma Verde CEO Chicko Sousa (right)

Plataforma Verde is a waste management platform on the blockchain.

Plenty — USA

Plenty is an agriculture technology company that grows crops in an indoor vertical farm – and without pesticides and GMOs.

Precognize — Israel

Yael ZurChen Linchevski

Precognize makes software that predicts – using artificial intelligence – which machines might need maintenance. The company focuses on heavy industry.

Primer — USA

PrimerPrimer CEO Sean Gourley
Primer helps parse and collate a large number of documents across several languages, automating the analysis of very large datasets.

Pymetrics — USA

PymetricsCEO Frida Polli (R) and Chief Scientific Officer Julie J Yoo of Pymetrics

Pymetrics uses neuroscience games and AI to reduce bias and save time in the hiring process.

QuintessenceLabs — Australia

Quintessence LabsVikram Sharma

QuintessenceLabs is a quantum cybersecurity company.

Raycatch — Israel

Photo by VCG/VCG via Getty Images

Raycatch uses artificial intelligence to provide suggestions about operations and maintenance to operators and owners of solar plants.

Seismic — USA


Seismic is creating “wearable robotics,” which it calls Powered Clothing, for senior citizens. It’ SuperFlex suit would add strength to muscles and joints for those who have trouble with mobility.

SocialCops — India

SocialCopsSocialCops cofounders Varun Banka and Prukalpa Sankar

SocialCops is a data intelligence company that specialises in cleaning up unorganized data.

Soft Robotics — USA

Photo by Paul Marotta/Getty Images for TechCrunchSoft Robotics CEO Carl Vause

Soft Robotics builds a proprietary “soft” gripper on the end of a robotic arm. The grasper can handle a range of objects, regardless of shape, size, or weight, with no tool or software changes between cycles.

Soul Machines — New Zealand

Soul MachinesA virtual assistant

Soul Machines creates life-like, emotionally responsive digital assistants with personality and character.

Suade — UK

SuadeSuade CEO Diana Paredes

Suade is a fintech startup that makes software for banks to help them adapt their balance sheets to changes in financial regulation.

ThoughtSpot — USA

ThoughtSpotThoughtSpot founder and CEO Ajeet Singh.

ThoughtSpot is a search and artificial intelligence-driven analytics platform. The company recently scored a $US145 million Series D funding round valuing the startup at $US1 billion. It plans to IPO in the near future.

Tulip Interfaces — USA

TulipWorkers use Tulip on a factory floor.

Tulip lets workers without any coding experience build apps that can monitor heavy equipment like you might find on a factory floor.

uBiome — USA

uBiome is a home-testing company that lets customers analyses their microbiome. The company offers a SmartGut test, which gives people insight into what’s going on in their digestive tract, and its SmartJane test, which tests for HPV and STIs.

Utilis — Israel

UtilisUtilis cofounder and CEO Lauren Guy

Utilis uses remote sensing and satellite data to detect drinking water leaks from underground pipes.

Vayyar — Israel


Vayyar claims to make the world’s most advanced 3D imaging sensor, which can be used in applications ranging from breast cancer screening to detecting water leakage.

Watergen — Israel

WatergenWatergen CEO Rami Ronen

Watergen has built a small water-from-air generator that provides renewable source of clean and fresh drinking water.

WaystoCap — Morocco

Niama El BassunieWaystoCap CEO Niama El Bassunie
WaystoCap is a B2B marketplace where businesses in Africa can buy and sell products. The startup graduated from Silicon Valley incubator Y Combinator in 2017.

XM Cyber — Israel

Founded by the former Director of Mossad, XM Cyber says it has the first fully automated APT (Advanced Persistent Threat) simulation platform. It automatically and persistently tests the security of software by simulating an attempted attack from a hacker.

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