Bhavish Aggarwal, the visionary mind behind India’s ride-hailing giant Ola, has struck again. His latest venture, Krutrim, an artificial intelligence (AI) startup, has achieved the coveted unicorn status, becoming the first Indian AI company to reach a valuation of $1 billion. This milestone marks a significant moment for India’s burgeoning AI scene, showcasing its potential to compete on the global stage.

Matrix Partners India led Krutrim’s $50 million “first round,” backing Aggarwal’s other ventures, Ola Electric and Ola, both previously supported by them. Aggarwal was in discussions to fund $50 million for his new AI business.

Krutrim, the Sanskrit word for “artificial,” is constructing a large language model. Not only English but also regional Indian languages have been part of the training data for this model. According to the business, it intends to release a voice-activated conversational AI assistant that speaks and understands many Indian languages.

Next month, it intends to release a beta version of its self-titled chatbot to customers. Developers and businesses will then be able to use APIs.

“India has to build its own AI, and at कृत्रिम, we are fully committed towards building the country’s first complete AI computing stack,” Aggarwal said in a statement. “We are thrilled to announce the successful closure of our first funding round, which not only validates the potential of कृत्रिम ’s innovative AI solutions but also underscores the confidence investors have in our ability to drive meaningful change out of India for the world.”

The Krutrim investment aligns with a global rush among investors to back AI breakthroughs. They believe that advancements in the field will enhance productivity across various sectors, with innovative companies potentially delivering significant returns.