The surge of artificial intelligence (AI) is revitalizing Indian AI startups, providing a lifeline for entrepreneurs amid growing capital scarcity in the startup ecosystem, backed by continued government support.
Thus, the largest raise to date for an Indian AI firm, Sarvam AI, a domestic generative AI business, raised $41 million earlier this month in its Series A round headed by Lightspeed and supported by Vinod Khosla’s Khosla Ventures and Peak XV Partners.
Established by Vivek Raghavan and Pratyush Kumar, Sarvam AI seeks to develop the “full-stack” for generative AI, encompassing enterprise-grade platforms for writing and deployment as well as research-driven advancements in the training of distinct AI models.
Specifically for public-good applications, the AI startup seeks to deliver population-scale effects by stacking GenAI on top of the extremely successful India stack.
“India has shown that it can use technology in different ways, and we have a chance to rethink how this technology can improve people’s lives with GenAI,” Raghavan added.
The quest for ever-more-powerful AI is a fascinating and contentious endeavor. Since we are purposefully investing in technological and ecosystem breakthroughs that make this technology available to everyone, we named our firm Sarvam, which means “all” in Sanskrit,” Kumar continued.
Last week, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, the minister of state for information technology and IT, announced that the government intends to fund and assist AI firms in the nation.
$10 billion in venture money was raised by GenAI startups worldwide in 2023—a massive 11% increase over 2021.
Dubbed “startup winter,” the decline in startup investment over the past few years has been caused by challenging macroeconomic conditions, rising interest rates, and recessionary concerns.
According to GlobalData’s patent analytics, “for example, aside from accelerating startup funding, patenting activity in GenAI registered an 85% CAGR over the last five years,” stated Jain.
Companies across all sectors are aggressively searching for talent with an emphasis on GenAI in order to increase their human capital. Additionally, investors are reacting by raising the valuations of businesses that emphasize GenAI capabilities.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled the AI Mission earlier this month, stating that its goal is to create AI’s processing capabilities in India. The government’s current goal is to increase the nation’s processing capacity for AI businesses.
In the upcoming year, over 63% of Indian businesses plan to proactively invest in AI and ML to automate their business operations. This is an 85% increase in AI spending from the previous year.
33% of these businesses are proactively planning to use Generative AI as a growth engine, according to the international software company Automation Anywhere. This indicates a forward-thinking attitude towards cutting-edge technologies in the goal of business transformation and optimisation.
“The next stage of global evolution and economic expansion are both dependent on productivity. According to Ankur Kothari, co-founder and chief operating officer of Automation Anywhere, “intelligent automation, including AI and generative AI, are proving crucial to solving the massive productivity crisis unfolding in front of us.”
Ola’s founder and CEO, Bhavish Aggarwal, launched “Krutrim,” termed “India’s own AI” model.
The Sanskrit word for “artificial,” Krutrim, will be available in two flavours: Krutrim Pro, which is a more sophisticated model, and Krutrim, which is a base model trained on 2 trillion tokens and unique datasets.AI designed with India in mind should be able to recognise the distinctiveness and appropriate cultural context. It must be taught using special datasets that are only available to us. Aggarwal states that it must be affordable for India and have cost structures that prioritize the country.
Twenty-two Indian languages, including Marathi, Hindi, Bengali, Tamil, Kannada, Telugu, Odia, Gujarati, and Malayalam, are supported by “Krutrim,” which can also produce content in roughly ten of them.
In association with Google Cloud, CoRover.ai has introduced BharatGPT, an indigenous generative AI platform. Google reportedly plans to invest $4 million in CoRover.ai, a firm that develops conversational AI.