GenAI startup Sarvam AI raises $41 mn in funding round led by Lightspeed

Business Standard

Sarvam AI, a generative artificial intelligence (GenAI) startup, said on Thursday it has raised $41 million in a Series A round led by Lightspeed and supported by Peak XV Partners and Khosla Ventures.

The funding is the largest at this stage for an Indian AI startup. Sarvam AI said it is developing a “full-stack” product that can be used for training custom AI models or as an enterprise-grade platform.

The company said a full-stack approach will accelerate GenAI adoption in India, given that enterprises acknowledge the technology’s potential but are grappling with how to leverage it for business.

“I have seen first hand the enormous value in innovating at foundational layers and deploying at population scale. India has demonstrated that it can harness technology differently, and with GenAI we have an opportunity to reimagine how this technology can add value to people’s lives,” said Vivek Raghavan, co-founder of Sarvam AI.

Sarvam AI will provide training AI models that support Indian languages and have voice-first interfaces. It will work with Indian companies to build domain-specific AI models based on their data. The company aims to create GenAI that has “population-scale impact”.

“We see several countries having sovereign efforts to build GenAI models given its strategic importance. We need companies like Sarvam AI to develop deep expertise for building AI in and for India,” said Vinod Khosla, a pioneer in Silicon Valley AI investments, including his early support for ChatGPT owner OpenAI.

Hemant Mohapatra, partner at Lightspeed, said: “Having backed some of the most influential names in GenAI globally, we are excited by Sarvam AI’s unique approach in combining model innovation and application development to build population-scale solutions for India.”

“Our aim is to establish Sarvam AI as a beacon for AI innovation, attracting the brightest minds to tackle foundational research challenges right here in India,” said Pratyush Kumar, co-founder of Sarvam AI.

Kumar founded a research initiative in open-source Indian language AI called AI4Bharat and his work has been used in public good and commercial applications.

First Published: Dec 07 2023 | 3:26 PM IST

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