• Investors pumped $10.8 billion into AI startups in Europe last year, according to PitchBook.
  • AI startups promise to revolutionize everything from climate tech and insurance to semiconductors.
  • Insider asked Europe’s top VCs to name the startups they think are poised to take off this year.

Artificial intelligence is spurring tech innovations in Europe, and investors are scrambling to cash in.

AI technology is designed to use data sets and machine learning to simulate human intelligence — and an increasing number of startups are applying it across industries including healthcare, insurance, finance, and climate tech, to name a few.

Venture capitalists are taking note. AI-startup funding hit an all-time high in Europe last year of over $10.8 billion, more than double the $4.8 billion invested in 2020, according to PitchBook. Investor appetite isn’t slowing down — and IDC has predicted that European AI spending will hit $22 billion in 2022.

As the funding environment for AI-based companies is opening up, “investors are eyeing Europe as the next frontrunner in AI,” said Akriti Dokania, a deep-tech and AI investor at Octopus Ventures.

A 2021 “State of AI” report said AI applications were becoming more “data-centric.” Dokania told Insider that the use of data in AI was evolving and had grown to become “multimodal — capturing text, images, and voices.”

“The next step is insight and reasoning,” Dokania added. “It’s about mimicking the human brain so we can understand what data says about us.”

To find out which trends investors in the region are tapping into, Insider asked VCs to identify startups in the AI ecosystem that are primed to take off this year.

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