The governing FIA recently invited new entrants to bid for the vacant spot on the grid, but until now there has been no sign of any serious interest.
F1 chief executive Ecclestone, however, told the Wirtschaftswoche publication: "We are in talks with two new names. Neither is an automaker," he added.
The 83-year-old Briton gave no further details.
But the new teams would come at a timely moment for the sport, amid fears several existing outfits are struggling financially.
The FIA is aiming to introduce a budget cap, and team bosses will reportedly meet in Geneva next week for early talks.
Diminutive Ecclestone, who said he has proposed a budget limit of "200 million", also commented on reports he is set to face trial in Germany over the Gerhard Gribkowsky corruption affair.
"I'm sure there will be (a trial)," he told Handelsblatt, revealing that he would appear in person. "There are already charges.
"I would (appear), probably because I have no choice, but I like Munich, it's a beautiful city," Ecclestone joked.
"It's really too early to think about it," he added.
"With the Constantin testimony I was out of the office for four days, but I could still work in the late afternoon and evening."
Ecclestone said he could have "easily" settled that lawsuit, and he also ruled out settling with BayernLB in a forthcoming action.
"But that would be wrong," he said, "because I have not done anything wrong. My concern is to prove my innocence."