Here’s what the top accelerators in North America are funding

Here’s what the top accelerators in North America are funding. After all, who would have foreseen billion-dollar businesses based on renting your air mattress to strangers, or shopping for their groceries? So when prestigious accelerators invest around common themes, it’s worth taking note of what’s resonating. The data set looks for companies that raised first-time funding in the past six months from accelerators in North America with a standout record for backing startups that go on to secure much higher valuations. AI bots for businesses are big The bots will help you. It’s one of several personal finance apps accelerators are rolling out. Real estate gets more temporary, efficient and on demand Sure, you can still show up in person and sign a long-term lease on a home, office or shop. But a lot of startups are coming up with both simpler and more temporary ways to secure space. A number of transport startups have launched with an analytics focus, such as Revmax, a vehicle routing tool, and Gridwise, which helps ride-hailing drivers maximize earnings. For now, however, we can sit back and enjoy (or fear) the vision of a future chatting with humanoid bots en route to one’s temporary home or office using the most efficient route that technology can provide.

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The top startup accelerators have a history of seeing the future in ideas that sounded silly at the time. After all, who would have foreseen billion-dollar businesses based on renting your air mattress to strangers, or shopping for their groceries?

So when prestigious accelerators invest around common themes, it’s worth taking note of what’s resonating.

With that in mind, we mined Crunchbase data on new seed investments by top-ranked accelerators, looking for similarities in their vision of where consumer and enterprise tech is headed. The data set looks for companies that raised first-time funding in the past six months from accelerators in North America with a standout record for backing startups that go on to secure much higher valuations.

Here are the startup trends that are capturing the imaginations, and wallets, of top accelerators.

AI bots for businesses are big

The bots will help you. Accelerator-backed startups are building a lot of AI-enabled tools to help businesses with customer support, sales and marketing. There’s Claire, a bot for testing consumer products and ad campaigns, and Scribe, an AI-powered “sales development representative” that can identify new leads.

For customer support, there is Eloquent Labs, which uses AI to augment and replace live chat customer support agents at e-commerce companies. And if you are an airline and in need of better customer support (which is pretty much every airline), there’s Techstars-backed ICM Hub, a developer of “artificially intelligent virtual agents.” These are just a few of the AI-enabled business apps that raised seed funding this past year.

The rise of the AI-powered consumer digital assistants

It may sound far-fetched in…

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