ASX AI Stocks: 5 Biggest Companies in 2024

Artificial intelligence (AI) continues to evolve and advance rapidly, becoming increasingly integrated in the automation of our everyday lives and a focal point of growth in the technology sector.

AI is also becoming a major focus for the Australian government, whose budget for the 2023/2024 fiscal year outlines a plan to invest AU$101.2 million in AI development and adoption over the coming years. That includes AU$17 million announced in December 2023 to fund up to five AI Adopt Centres for small- and medium-sized businesses.

According to a March 2023 report from IDC on worldwide AI spending, spending on AI solutions in the nation is expected to reach US$6.4 billion by 2026. On a global level, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation estimated in 2019 that AI will provide a boost of AU$22.7 trillion to the world’s economy by 2030.

All ASX AI stocks data was current as of February 7, 2024.

5 biggest ASX AI stocks

Investors just starting to look at the ASX AI industry may want to consider the exchange’s biggest players. Many of them focus on AI in addition to other markets, but these companies tend to offer more stability and will be more likely to have the funds to advance new projects. Read on to learn more about these large entities.

1. Block (ASX:SQ2)

Company Profile

Market cap: AU$63.07 billion; current share price: AU$103.57

Block is a fintech company based in San Francisco. Small businesses use its flagship product, Square, for accepting credit card payments. The company also offers Cash App for money transfers, Tidal for music streaming and Spiral for funding Bitcoin-related products. Block’s Australian subsidiary enables various digital payments using Square’s technology.

Block made generative AI a strategic priority in 2023 to create new efficiencies for customers. Ten new features were introduced in October, including tools allowing retailers to ask questions and receive insights into their business. In January 2024, the company released its fourth Future of Commerce report in partnership with Wakefield Research. It shows that consumers and business owners in the retail, restaurant and beauty industries are supportive of more AI and automation tools to combat labour shortages and improve customer experiences.

Block reported total net revenue of US$5.62 billion in 2023’s third quarter, an increase of 24 percent year-on-year. Its Q4 earnings call is scheduled for February 22, 2024.

2. WiseTech Global (ASX:WTC)

Company Profile

Market cap: AU$24.17 billion; current share price: AU$73.77

Headquartered in Sydney, WiseTech Global provides cloud-based software solutions to logistics businesses in 173 countries around the world. Its CargoWise platforms are designed using workflows, automation and robotics. In January 2024, Emile Zafirov, chief information officer for longtime customer Logistics Plus, said the company’s deployment of CargoWise ‘is probably part of the reason why we have had such an explosive growth in the last decade or so.’

WiseTech’s expansion strategy has involved making several acquisitions in recent years. In November 2022, the company acquired Shipamax, a data entry automation software provider for the logistics industry. The Shipamax platform uses AI and machine learning for data extraction and the automation of full operational workflows.

In early 2023, WiseTech acquired Blume Global, a company that specialises in intermodal rail solutions in North America, serving major railroads and freight providers. This past October, WiseTech acquired Matchbox Exchange, an online platform through which operators can reuse and exchange shipping containers; it continued its buying spree in November, picking up Sistemas Casa and expanding its global customs reach into Mexico.

The company reported total revenue of AU$816.8 million for its 2023 fiscal year, up 29 percent from 2022.

3. Xero (ASX:XRO)

Company Profile

Market cap: AU$ 16.41 billion; current share price: AU$108.73

Based in New Zealand, Xero is a technology company providing cloud-based accounting and scheduling software for small- and medium-sized businesses. The company has 3.95 million subscribers around the globe.

In recent years, Xero has invested in AI technology for its services, adding new bank reconciliation predictions into the Xero accounting platform in November 2021. This feature reduces errors from manual entry and saves businesses time. That same year, Xero launched Analytics Plus, a suite of planning and forecasting tools all powered by AI.

In September 2023, Xero announced a three year partnership with PrimeGlobal, an association made up of over 300 accounting firms, bringing Xero’s AI-powered bank reconciliation technology to 112 countries. Later on, in October of last year, Xero introduced new AI-powered features and enhancements to help customers find solutions in the company’s learning and support portal, Xero Central.

4. Seek (ASX:SEK)

Company Profile

Market cap: AU$9.23 billion; current share price: AU$26.02

Seek is an online employment marketplace with over 20 years of user data. It employs the latest AI technology in its search engines to match employers with prospective hires and job seekers with relevant postings.

In addition to generic search factors such as job location and salary, Seek’s search engine can factor in elements like user behaviour and transferable skills. Generative AI enables the algorithm to keep learning as the job market evolves.

Seek uses data gathered from various industries to compile monthly employment reports that provide information about which sectors are hiring and where the most jobs are located, as well as insights on the job market at a national level.

For its 2023 fiscal year, which ended on August 15, Seek reported a 10 percent increase in total revenue. In January 2024, a Seek-owned credential platform, Certsy, signed a collaboration agreement with Xref, a provider of automated reference checking. Together, the companies are on a mission to improve how prospective employers conduct reference checks.

5. NextDC (ASX:NXT)

Company Profile

Market cap: AU$7.41 billion; current share price: AU$14.38

NextDC is Australia’s leading data centre operator, with 13 functioning centres throughout Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia and Japan, and nine more in the works. NextDC has expressed its commitment to improving Australia’s digital infrastructure with multiple business and academic partnerships.

This past August, NextDC announced it would be partnering with Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), as well as well-known Australian mining and telecommunications groups, to bring a state-of-the-art data centre to Pilbara, Western Australia. Then, in November 2023, the company officially broke ground on an AU$80 million data centre in Darwin as part of an action plan to improve the digital infrastructure in the Northern Territory.

NextDC also revealed in September that it would be partnering with La Trobe Business School’s Research Centre for Data Analytics and Cognition on research into future theoretical and practical applications of AI across a range of industries.

5 ASX AI stocks to watch

The large tech companies listed above have successfully leveraged AI in their businesses, adding AI and machine learning capabilities to their service offerings. Australia is also home to the following companies that have smaller market caps, making them a lower-cost option for those looking to invest in AI-focused stocks on the ASX.

1. BrainChip (ASX:BRN)

Company Profile

Market cap: AU$356.82 million; current share price: AU$0.21

BrainChip is the company behind akida, a revolutionary digital neuromorphic chip that’s built with a spiking neural network, a type of artificial network that mimics the way messages are passed between neurons in the human brain. Because the AI is inside the chip, the chip is able to learn on its own and is not reliant on the cloud or other networks. This makes it much more secure and reduces latency as well.

2. Bigtincan Holdings (ASX:BTH)

Company Profile

Market cap: AU$120.17 million; current share price: AU$0.20

Bigtincan Holdings is a sales platform that uses AI to help companies improve their customers’ buying experience by making the process more efficient and personalised. Bigtincan’s list of partners includes Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Adobe (NASDAQ:ADBE), SalesForce (NYSE:CRM) and Microsoft.

3. Appen (ASX:APX)

Company Profile

Market cap: AU$59.20 million; current share price: AU$0.29

Appen began in 1996 as an automated speech recognition startup by a couple based in Sydney, New South Wales. Today, it operates as a trusted partner to companies transitioning to AI usage, with a suite of industry-specific large language models and AI-training products.

4. Ai-Media Technologies (ASX:AIM)

Company Profile

Market cap: AU$58.47 million; current share price: AU$0.26

Ai-Media Technologies is one of the world’s leading caption and translation providers. It was founded in 2003 by Tony Abrahams and Alex Jones, who was born deaf. Ai-Media uses AI to transcribe speech, making media accessible to all.

5. Unith (ASX:UNT)

Company Profile

Market cap: AU$14.41 million; current share price: AU$0.02

Unith is a marketing and customer service platform that uses AI and machine learning-powered by GPT technology to create “digital humans” that help achieve customer satisfaction and solve problems. Companies can choose from a catalogue of visual representatives or have one created in the likeness of a team member; these avatars can be matched with friendly, conversational voices to meet customer service demands.

FAQs for investing in AI

What is artificial intelligence?

AI is defined as human intelligence exhibited by machines. The development of graphics processing units with faster and more powerful chips has supported the emergence of AI technologies.

Where is AI used?

AI has been heralded as a technology of the fourth industrial revolution, with heavy investment from industries including transportation, manufacturing, education and agriculture. Some of the sectors that will likely see the fastest AI investment growth in the coming years are healthcare, pharmaceutical research, retail, industrial automation, finance and intelligent process automation.

How to invest in AI stocks?

Investors looking to capitalise on the growth potential of the AI market have a number of entry points, including AI stocks. It’s key for each person to practise due diligence and speak to their broker to determine the most suitable tech investments.

Securities Disclosure: I, Meagen Seatter, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

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