Top AI startup news of the week: AI21 Labs, Mad Street Den, aiOla, and more

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Announcements around generative AI-powered writing assistance show no signs of slowing this week, while a few sizable funding rounds fill out the top AI startup news.

Here are five companies that made headlines this week:

1. AI21 Labs launches Wordtune Spices to assist writers

AI21 Labs launched Wordtune Spices this week, an add-on to their popular Wordtune editor platform, which offers a challenge to rival OpenAI’s ChatGPT by providing users with links back to web-based sources — something ChatGPT does not do. Spices is also meant to work alongside a writer to assist in the writing process. For example, it can generate a range of text options to add to and enhance sentences, or suggest statistics to strengthen an argument or sharpen a detail. 

The Tel Aviv-based AI21 Labs also released a research paper that digs into Spices‘ factuality and source traceability, claiming it includes the “strongest scientific results to date of making any off-the-shelf language model generate factual information that can be traced back to its sources.” 

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2. Mad Street Den raises $30 million for enterprise AI

San Francisco-based Mad Street Den, which offers an AI platform geared towards enterprise transformation, raised a fresh round of $30 million this week. The company said it has seen strong demand for its AI platform over the past 24 months, powered by retail growth from its Vue.ai platform and new verticals including finance, insurance, healthcare, pharma, and logistics.

In a press release, the company said it will “double down on scaling the business across a wide range of verticals,” while continuing to remain steady as a leader in retail AI (after an acquisition of InTurn in November).

3. aiOla secures $25 million for voice and image recognition

Israeli startup aiOla, which has developed state-of-the-art voice and image recognition combined with advanced AI models to digitize, automate and streamline inspection processes, announced that it has secured $25 million in funding. It aims to dramatically reduce operational costs, increase production time, automate trend reporting, and minimize downtime.

In a press release, CEO Amir Haramaty said: “aiOla’s proprietary and patented natural-language interface technology is perfectly positioned to take advantage of the ‘gold rush” in AI adoption. Our technology spans any language or jargon for any process, offering an instant and lasting impact across a variety of industries and verticals.”

4. myInterview raises $11 million for AI-powered recruiting

In an era of quiet quitting and high inflation, employers are having a tougher time than ever trying to recruit and retain employees. For certain types of jobs, including entry level, retail and hospitality jobs, young people in the Gen Z demographic are particularly hard to attract.

To that end, myInterview, a leader in smart video interviewing software, announced this week that the company has secured an $11m Series A funding round. The Israel-based company will use the new funding to help grow its technology platform to better attract and engage with candidates. The myInterview platform uses a combination of AI and machine learning (ML) technologies to help complement and accelerate the recruitment process.

5. DeepL launches Write, a Grammarly competitor

On the heels of last week’s over-$100 million fundraise, Cologne, Germany-based DeepL announced the launch of DeepL Write, an AI writing tool that it says goes beyond the company’s translation capabilities to improve written communication in both English and German.

In a blog post, DeepL explained that Write “tackles more than just grammar—it puts you in control of your writing by offering suggestions on phrasing, tone, style, and word choice. With so many options, you’ll never compromise your authentic voice.”

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