Brad is the co-founder and COO of Cledara. Prior to Cledara, Brad was VP of Partnerships at Railsr, the BaaS unicorn backed by Visa, where he was responsible for banking infrastructure globally and the company's GTM. Prior to Railsbank, Brad was Chief Partnerships Officer at Dopay and a Principal at the EBRD, where he made early-stage investments into fintech and financial services. He is also one of the longest-serving and highest-ranked Techstars startup mentors globally.
The rise of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in business has been explosive, revolutionizing how startups operate and grow. Here at Cledara, we're on a mission to help companies get the most value out of the SaaS they use to run their business. That's why we set out to gather data from over 1,000 of our customers to produce insights on the adoption of AI-powered Software as a Service (SaaS) products.
What we found was impressive: businesses are using over 150 AI-powered SaaS products to improve efficiency, increase revenue and make better decisions. As a startup ourselves, we understand the importance of staying up-to-date on emerging trends and tools. That's why we created this report, to share our insights with fellow startups and entrepreneurs.
Our aim is to provide a comprehensive overview of the state of AI in business and to help startups navigate the market for AI-powered SaaS products. We've compiled a list of the top 150 AI-powered SaaS products being used by businesses, to showcase the potential benefits of AI and help startups identify the best solutions for their needs.
We hope this report will be a valuable resource for startups looking to leverage AI to gain a competitive advantage and drive growth in their businesses.
AI in Business Market Map
The ChatGPT Effect: Quarter of all Businesses now using AI
The rise of AI in business has been a gradual process, but over the past year, we have seen a significant increase in the adoption of AI-powered SaaS products by Cledara customers. Our data shows that the percentage of Cledara customers using at least one AI tool each month has been steadily increasing since March 2022.
However, it was in February 2023 that we saw a particularly big jump in the adoption of AI-powered SaaS products. This was largely due to the press around ChatGPT, which generated a lot of excitement and interest in AI among our customers.
As of May 2023, 28.2% of our customers are using at least one AI tool, up from just 8.9% a year ago. This represents a significant shift in the way businesses are leveraging technology to improve their operations and gain a competitive edge.
We expect this trend to continue as more businesses realize the benefits of AI-powered SaaS products, and as more innovative solutions become available. At Cledara, we are committed to helping our customers stay at the forefront of this technological revolution by providing them with the tools and insights they need to succeed.
From Slow Burn to Rapid Rise: Accelerating Adoption
The time series data presented above provides insights into the adoption of AI-powered SaaS by Cledara customers over the course of several months, beginning on January 1st, 2023. The data shows a gradual but consistent increase in the percentage of SaaS usage that is AI-powered, rising from 0.33% in the first week to 0.78% in the last week of the data set.
The press around the launch of GPT4 on 14 March 2023 drove a considerable increase in usage of AI-powered SaaS in the second half of March.
Bucking the Trend: AI Spending Lags Behind AI Usage
The chart shows the proportion of a company's SaaS budget that is being spent on AI-powered tools, based on data from Cledara customers. Overall, the percentage of SaaS budgets being spent on AI tools remains very low, with the highest recorded proportion being just 0.48% in March 2023.
Interestingly, growth in the AI share of a company's total SaaS budget is lagging behind the growth in usage of AI-powered tools. This can be attributed to several factors. Firstly, the availability of powerful free tools like ChatGPT's generous free tier, which allow businesses to leverage AI capabilities without incurring any additional costs. Secondly, the low average contract value (ACV) of most AI-powered tools purchased through Cledara, with the median ACV being only $1,246, considerably less than other types of tools.
This relatively low pricing of AI-powered tools may be a result of the nascent nature of the companies that are releasing AI-powered products today, and the trend for new startups to undercharge for their products. The median company that is making the AI-powered SaaS used by our customers is only 30 employees in size.
Small But Mighty: The Nascent and Global Nature of AI
AI vendors are largely nascent, with 55.3% of vendors having less than 50 employees and 54.0% having raised less than $10 million from investors. This suggests that the AI industry is still in its early stages of growth.
Interestingly, only 1.3% of vendors have more than 1,000 employees, and just 3.4% have raised more than $100 million. This underscores the fact that AI vendors are still relatively small and are often venture-backed startups.
The US is the largest home of the most popular AI tools used by Cledara customers, with 58% of all vendors from the US. However, the AI industry is also quite international, with 42% of vendors founded outside of the US.
The top 20 most used AI-powered tools in business
The Top 150 B2B AI SaaS Products
Here are the top 150 AI SaaS applications ranked by their revenue from Cledara customers, click the categories at the top to filter: