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Waterloo companies ranked among world's most promising AI startups

Two Waterloo-based companies are on a new list of world's most promising AI startups.

Waterloo is home to an abundance of successful AI startups. Last week, the community was recognized internationally for two of its ground-breaking companies. DarwinAI and Faire have been ranked as two of the top 100 AI startups worldwide.

The AI 100 is an annual ranking list by CB Insights of carefully selected startups with the most potential in the world. This year’s list includes companies working on a wide range of AI topics such as quantum machine learning, protein modeling and more.

Here’s a quick rundown on the two companies highlighted from Waterloo:


A relatively young company, DarwinAI ‘uses AI to build AI’ and was founded by four University of Waterloo alumni.

Their technology does two things:

  1. Dramatically reduces the size of deep neural networks while maintaining functional accuracy and reducing inference time.
  2. Facilitates ‘explainable’ deep learning, which is the ability to understand why a network makes the decision it does.

In 2019, DarwinAI was named a “cool vendor” in Gartner’s Cool Vendors in Enterprise AI Governance and Ethical Response Report, which recognizes emerging vendors that the data and analytics industry should watch.


Founded with dual HQs in Waterloo and Silicon Valley, Faire is an online retail platform with a mission to revolutionize the way retailers shop for their stores. Retailers come to Faire to find a large range of unique products from over 9,000 makers from 60 countries around the world. There are also more than 70,000 retailers in the US and Canada on the platform. In February, Faire unveiled a new Canadian Headquarters in the Waterloo area.

In 2019, Faire went from a promising early-stage startup to a fast-growing scale-up following a $150 million investment and $1 billion valuation.

To see the whole list of Top 100 AI Startups worldwide, click here.

Do you want to learn more about Waterloo’s dynamic tech ecosystem?