Announcing the Intelligent Applications Top 40; a New Industry Ranking of the Top Private Companies Building Applications with AI and Machine Learning

Industry driven list sponsored by Madrona Venture Group and Goldman Sachs, identifies the companies building the next generation of software

SEATTLE--()--Today the Intelligent Applications Top 40 (#IA40) was unveiled by Madrona Venture Group. The list of the top private companies building applications that truly incorporate intelligence into how they process data and predict outcomes was voted on by the top 40 venture capital firms investing in this industry, Goldman Sachs, Amazon and Microsoft.

“The era of SaaS applications is drawing to a close as their ‘intelligent application’ counterparts rise to prominence. We have been investing in intelligent apps since 2011 and we believe that in 2022, we will see a significant shift in how companies build applications, deliver insights and change our lives and these 40 companies will be driving that shift,” commented Matt McIlwain, Managing Director, Madrona Venture Group. “We are honored to partner with Goldman Sachs and all the top tier venture firms who contributed to this ranking of the companies that are building the future of software.”

To create this list, Madrona Venture Group and Goldman Sachs collaborated on a new initiative to research, identify and select the top intelligent application companies in the private sector. The IA40 initiative enlisted judges across 40 of the most active venture capital firms to participate in this research-driven ranking. Judges nominated over 250 companies that they believe will transform and define the next generation of software with application intelligence, and then voted for the top 40 most promising.

The top 40 companies were selected across categories

  • Early stage - up to ~$30 M raised
  • Mid-stage - ~$30 to ~$200M raised
  • Growth-stage - ~$200M + raised
  • Intelligent Application Enablers(stage agnostic)





Runway ML

Abnormal Security


dbt labs





Spot AI



Hugging Face




Cockroach Labs


Starburst Dat






WellSaid Labs






Grafana Labs




Monte Carlo




Snorkle AI





Top Line Insights


  • Intelligent App Enablers are the most clear and well-known group of companies. Several like Databricks, DataRobotand Fivetran have emerged over the last 5+ years as market leaders, and many of the earlier stage companies like OctoMl and dbt are already gaining significant market traction.
  • Machine to Human interactions are starting to become more ubiquitous - as the categories of sales (Gong), Marketing (Amperity), Customer Success (Cresta, Moveworks) grow.
  • Machine to Machine interactions continue to rise in adoption as cybersecurity platforms (Abnormal), physical security platforms (Anduril), and horizontal enterprise process automation (Celonis) reach the growth stage
  • Cloud Providers: While the whole journey of intelligent applications (including model design and training) is hybrid and multi-cloud, most intelligent apps today leverage and operate on one or more of the major cloud platforms (AWS, Azure and Google Clouds)
  • Investors: The investor group that has backed these Intelligent Apps largely represents some of the most venerable VC brands and current trends (for example,Tiger Global backed the most companies voted on to the list with A16Z and Sequoia tied for the second most companies)

We thank all the judges of the IA 40.

a16z, Accel, Acrew Capital, Addition, Allen Institute of AI, Altimeter, Amazon, Amplify, Bain Capital Ventures, Battery Ventures, Bessemer Venture Partners, Coatue , CRV, Decibel Partners,, Emergence Capital, General Catalyst, GGV Capital, Goldman Sachs, Greylock, ICONIQ Capital, Insight Partners, Khosla Ventures, Kleiner Perkins, Lux Capital, M12, Madrona Venture Group, March Capital, Mayfield Fund, Meritech Capital Partners, NEA, Norwest Venture Partners, OpenView, Positive Sum, Redpoint, Revolution Ventures, Scale Venture Partners, Sequoia Capital, STEADFAST Capital, Two Sigma Ventures.

Intelligent Application Definition

Intelligent applications leverage machine learning models embedded in applications that use both historical and real- time data to build a continuous learning system. These learning systems solve a business problem in a contextually relevant way - better than before, and typically deliver rich information and insights that are either applied automatically or leveraged by end users to make superior decisions.

About Madrona Venture Group

Madrona ( is a venture capital firm based in Seattle, WA. With more than 25 years of investing in early stage technology companies, the firm has worked with founders from Day One to help build their company for the long run. Madrona invests predominantly in seed and Series A rounds across the information technology spectrum and has also raised Acceleration Stage funds for initial investments in Series B, C and beyond. Madrona was an early investor in companies such as Amazon, Smartsheet, Rover, Redfin, and Snowflake.


Erika Shaffer,, 206-972-5514

Release Summary

Announcing the Intelligent Applications Top 40 - #IA40 - a research and industry derived list of companies building the next generation of software



Erika Shaffer,, 206-972-5514