World-renowned semiconductor producer Nvidia is widely regarded as a pioneering force behind artificial intelligence (AI), and it remains a leader in the field today. But AI is a rapidly growing industry with plenty of room for other contributors, and in fact, some experts predict the majority of companies will be using AI by 2030, adding $13 trillion in value to the global economy.
Therefore, while Nvidia is a $413 billion giant today, three Motley Fool contributors think C3ai (AI 6.08%), Riskified (RSKD 4.74%), and CrowdStrike (CRWD -0.83%) are artificial intelligence powerhouses of the future. Here's why.
Making AI more accessible
Anthony Di Pizio (C3ai): One thing the artificial intelligence industry is missing is accessibility. Typically, only large technology companies with the financial resources and the ability to attract talented developers have been able to use AI in a meaningful capacity. But thanks to C3ai, part of that burden is being lifted. The company provides thousands of ready-made and customizable AI applications to 11 different industries (and growing).
C3ai's customers are incredibly diverse, ranging from fossil fuel giants to financial services firms. The oil and gas industry isn't one that investors might associate with an advanced technology like AI, but it makes up the majority of C3ai's revenue. Companies like Shell are using predictive capabilities to help prevent catastrophic failures, and to reduce greenhouse emissions. That company has deployed C3ai's applications to monitor 10,692 pieces of equipment.
But C3ai's progress in the field is also being recognized by some of the largest technology giants in the world, including Microsoft and Alphabet's Google. Those companies are collaborating with C3ai to build better cloud services for their customers, and Microsoft has already created $200 million in value through the partnership.
C3ai generated $252 million in revenue during fiscal 2022 (ended April 30) but lost $192 million for the year. However, it has a very high gross profit margin of 81% and over $950 million of cash and short-term investments on its balance sheet, so it has plenty of room to continue investing in growth before it cuts back on spending to deliver positive earnings. The company anticipates its opportunity could be worth $596 billion by 2025, so it has only unlocked a fraction of its growth potential so far.
C3ai stock is down 89% from its all-time high, which might be a great opportunity to take a long-term position.
An overlooked AI pick
Jamie Louko (Riskified): Riskified has been beaten down -- like many other companies in the e-commerce space -- 84% since coming public in late 2021. However, there's reason to believe this artificial intelligence (AI) company could be a bargain at these prices. The company helps e-commerce businesses detect and prevent fraudulent transactions, with AI and machine learning as the driving forces of its determinations.
Riskified's solutions have been quite valuable to customers. In a study by the company, its 10 largest customers saw an average 39% decrease in operating expenses due to fewer goods lost to fraudulent transactions. Additionally, customers also saw an 8% rise in revenue from transactions that were thought to be fake but were actually authentic. With this incredible value proposition, it should be no surprise that Riskified has seen 2% or less annual customer churn since 2019.
The company facilitated $22.7 billion in gross merchandise volume in Q1, which helped the business generate over $58.8 million in revenue over the same period. The company burned $10 million in free cash flow in Q1, which is concerning considering activity could potentially slow over the coming year as consumers make fewer e-commerce purchases due to a potential recession. However, Riskified's balance sheet is robust: It has over $500 million in cash and securities with no debt.
Assuming the company's cash burn rate remains flat, it can subsidize 50 quarters of free cash flow burn with the cash it has on hand. Therefore, Riskified could still be operational after a recession and continue growing.
That said, investors aren't valuing it that way: The company's current market cap is $693 million, but its enterprise value is only $173 million. At this price, investors anticipate barely any success from Riskified, which could be overly pessimistic. Given its value proposition to its customers, the business could perform much better than Wall Street thinks right now, and over the long term, Riskified has the potential to see stellar results on the other side of a recession.
Where artificial intelligence meets cybersecurity
Trevor Jennewine (CrowdStrike): Businesses are becoming more digital as they work to improve the customer experience and drive operational efficiency. Trends like cloud computing and software proliferation are fueling that digital transformation, but those same trends have also created new attack surfaces for hackers. That has made cybersecurity a top priority, and CrowdStrike has become the gold standard in endpoint (device) security.
CrowdStrike offers 22 different software modules, all of which are delivered through a single lightweight agent that can be installed without a reboot. That distinguishes CrowdStrike from other vendors, and it streamlines adoption for customers. But that's not the only unique thing about this cybersecurity company. Its platform can also stream security signals to the cloud in real time, where powerful AI models analyze data to predict and prevent cyberattacks.
Better yet, management believes its AI models are uniquely effective. As the market leader in endpoint security, CrowdStrike has a data advantage -- its platform crowdsources about 1 trillion security signals each day -- and data is the cornerstone of good AI. That network effect means CrowdStrike's AI models are constantly improving, keeping the company on the cutting edge of threat intelligence.
To that end, CrowdStrike saw its customer count increase 57% over the past year, and spend per customer rose by more than 20%. In turn, revenue skyrocketed 64% to $1.6 billion and free cash flow rose 49% to $481 million.
Looking ahead, shareholders have good reason to be excited. CrowdStrike has a durable competitive edge in a market that management values at $58 billion. Better yet, CrowdStrike's product pipeline could push that figure to $126 billion by 2025. Suffice it to say there is plenty of room for future growth, and the company should continue to benefit as businesses invest in digital transformation. That's why this growth stock is worth buying.