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From legal co-pilot to smart lamps, AI startups waving the Belgian flag high in 2024

Belgian AI startups

Belgium may not be the first country that comes to mind when thinking of innovative startups and scaleups. However, this tiny nation with a population of just over 11 million is making a significant impact on the global startup scene.

Belgium’s startup scene gradually getting diverse while it spans across various sectors, including fintech, biotech, cleantech, digital health, and AI. Some notable startups in these categories include RISORCE, Curvo, and Aphea.Bio. In addition to this, the country is home to a handful of unicorns, including Odoo, Collibra, and Deliverect and a slew of soonicorns await to reach the $1 billion valuation mark like Agomab, Qover, MiDiagnostics, and Cowboy are among them. 

Moreover, there are more than 60 incubators and accelerators, including entities like imec.istart, Start it @KBC, and The Birdhouse, that play a pivotal role in fostering early-stage startups through mentorship, funding, and networking opportunities. Additionally, prominent venture capital firms such as Fortino Capital, Volta Ventures, and Hummingbird Ventures contribute significantly to bolstering the Belgian startup economy.

In spite of a decline in funding for Belgian startups in the first half of 2023 compared to 2022, a group of local entrepreneurs and investors is gearing up to boost their entrepreneurial aspirations with the introduction of Syndicate One, a new angel investment group. In light of these changes within the Belgian startup landscape, we, at TFN, have compiled a list of startups from the country specialising in AI, a rapidly advancing technology in the current era, based on insights from Dealroom.


Nobi founder
Picture credits: Nobi

Founder/s: Roeland Pelgrims, Stijn Verrept, Bert De Haes
Founded year: 2019
Total funding: $14.3M

Falls are among the leading causes of death for older senior citizens worldwide. With its smart lamp, Nobi saves lives by detecting and preventing falls at homes and in care facilities. With AI technology, Nobi monitors an entire room while seamlessly fitting into any interior and boasts a 100% fall detection rate and immediately alerts caretakers or family members through a mobile app or other means. Nobi prevents falls with automated lighting to reduce disorientation and offers a privacy-secure analysis of falls for future prevention.

In 2022, the age tech startup Nobi raised €13 million from LSP Health Economics Fund 2, LSP Dementia Fund, the Flemish investment company PMV and BNP Paribas Fortis Private Equity.

Stellar Labs

Stellar Labs founders
Picture credits: Stellar Labs

Founder/s: Raf Seymus, Stella Collins
Founded year: 2019
Total funding: $3.5M

Belgian learning and development startup Stellar Labs combines neuroscience and human behaviour with business and technology to increase the effectiveness of professional training. It develops custom learning programmes for clients, improves existing learning methods and trains in-house experts so that they can better educate their colleagues. The overall hybrid learning format is modular and combines digital training along with interactive workshops.

In 2021, Stellar Labs bagged €1.7 million funding from angel investors, the Flemish Agency for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (VLAIO), Private equity firm PMV and private bank loans. Also, in 2023, it raised €1.5 million to implement machine learning and generative AI in the platform.


icometrix team
Picture credits: icometrix

Founder/s: Dirk Loeckx, Wim Hecke
Founded year: 2011
Total funding: $22M

Headquartered in Leuven, icometrix develops AI-supported quantitative brain analysis software provides metrics for cerebral MRI scans to help clinicians diagnose, monitor and evaluate treatment responses in patients with neurological conditions, such as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, stroke and Parkinson’s disease. The spin-off from the universities and university hospitals of Leuven and Antwerp has developed MSmetrix, which detects brain lesions, calculates lesion volume and measures the whole brain and grey matter volume and atrophy.

In 2019, the brain imaging AI company received $18 million in funding to grow its brain software. Also, in 2023, the company announced it was awarded a grant from the Michael J. Fox Foundation to research brain MRI biomarkers for Parkinson’s disease.


Henchman team
Picture credits: Henchman

Founder/s: Jorn Vanysacker, Gilles Mattelin, Wouter Van Respaille
Founded year: 2021
Total funding: $10M

Belgian legaltech startup Henchman helps lawyers of the future provide added value and expertise. With AI, the startup intelligently gives instant access to legal teams’ previously written clauses and definitions to help modern-day organisations scale their legal excellence. Among its customer base are established firms and organisations such as Deloitte, ABB, CMS, YPog, Arntzen de Besche, Grant Thornton, and more.

Last year, Henchman snapped $7 million in Series A funding led by a New York-based Adjacent VC, and Acton Capital, a Munich-based VC fund alongside participation from several business angels, including Louis Jonckheere & Pieterjan Bouten, Felix Van de Maele, and Bram Couvreur.


Picture credits: Relu

Founder/s: Adriaan Van Gerven, Antoine Coppens, Holger Willems, Thomas Beznik
Founded year: 2019
Total funding: $3.9M

Dental software company Relu builds AI algorithms to support the automation of digital dental treatment planning. It has developed an AI-based algorithm to image the anatomy of the jaws, teeth and nerves via a 3D model. Its system recognises the anatomy in a scan and automatically converts it into 3D models of the jaw, teeth, skull and even nerves without the intervention of a dentist.

Last year, Relu snapped €2 million seed funding from global dental industry investors, including a US-based early-stage VC Dental Innovation Alliance. It said that the funding will be used to further advance the AI algorithms that Relu offers to dental software companies.


LegalFly founders
Picture credits: LegalFly

Founder/s: Ruben Miessen, Dennis Montegnies, Gregory Vekemans,
Kasper Verbeeck De Wael
Founded year: 2023
Total funding: $2.2M

Yet another legal startup is LegalFly, a specialised AI Copilot for legal teams, designed to significantly boost the efficiency of legal workflows such as contract review, contract drafting, and discovery. As per the company, its tech helps in a 60% reduction in contract review and drafting time. Founded by four former Tinder tech veterans, the startup offers an end-to-end solution designed to supercharge every aspect of a legal professional’s journey. Its products have features such as litigation assistance, contract review, contract drafting and anonymisation.

Last year, LegalFly secured over €2 million in a seed funding round led by Redalpine with Mehdi Ghissassi, Director of Product at Google DeepMind. The company announced that this funding will be used to ship solutions faster, expand its business operations to the US, and bring its transformative product to new customers.


Yields founders
Picture credits: Yields

Founder/s: Jos Gheerardyn, Sébastien Viguié
Founded year: 2017
Total funding: $6.7M

Yields is one of the first fintech startups that has developed a platform leveraging AI for automated model risk management on an enterprise-wide scale. It assists clients to speed up model validation tasks, generate regulatory compliant documentation and industrialise model monitoring. The platform works with all models that are used within the financial sector such as credit models, AI applications, valuation algorithms, market risk, AML and behavioural models.

Back in 2023, the fintech startup raised €4.8 million in a funding round led by Giesecke+Devrient Ventures. Existing investors Pamica, the investment company of Michel Akkermans, and Volta Ventures have also contributed.


Enersee founders
Picture credits: Enersee

Founder/s: Maarten Van de Vijver and Joachim Vleminckx
Founded year: 2021
Total funding: $1.3M

Enersee (formerly Eneos) a startup at the forefront of energy management software, revolutionises how organisations optimise energy usage and reduce their environmental impact. Leveraging advanced AI, Enersee empowers energy managers to monitor energy performance and consumption more effectively. By utilising energy measurement and verification, accurate consumption forecasting, and real-time anomaly detection, Enersee enables substantial reductions in energy costs and carbon emissions.

With the intention to offer new features and enhance the user experience, Enersee secured €1.2 million in funding led by Dutch VC Peak in 2023.


TechWolf founders
Picture credits: TechWolf

Founder/s: Andreas De Neve, Jeroen Van Hautte, Mikaël Wornoo
Founded year: 2017
Total funding: $12.1M

Ghent-based HR tech platform TechWolf uses AI to connect people jobs and education based on skills. The startup claims to deliver an instant, up-to-date and unbiased view of skills across the workforce. TechWolf automatically monitors your employees’ skills based on HR information and the digital footprint they create on the work floor. Discover what capabilities are already present, see which future skills are lacking and identify efficientpaths to upskilling, reskilling and hiring.

Back in 2022, TechWolf aised €10 million in a round led by Stride.VC, with participation from Fortino Capital, Acadian Ventures, PMV, Syndicate One and existing investors.


Urbantz team
Picture credits: Urbantz

Founder/s: Dimitri De Boose, Jonathan Weber, Jérémy Jaquet, Michael Darchambeau, Mélanie Applincourt
Founded year: 2015
Total funding: $16.5M

Urbantz is a last-mile delivery management platform for enterprises designed to respond to the delivery needs of retailers, logistics operators, e-commerce, grocery players, among others. Urbantz provides an enterprise SaaS solution for real-time visibility and complete control over the entire last-mile delivery chain.

In 2021, the sustainable last-mile delivery startup completed its Series A financing round of €6 million with Korys, ETF Partners and existing shareholders.

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