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.
The $50 million “first round” in Krutrim was headed by Matrix Partners India, which has previously supported Aggarwal’s other two firms, the EV company Ola Electric and the ride-hailing platform Ola. Aggarwal was in discussions to fund $50 million for his new AI business.
The Sanskrit word for “artificial,” Krutrim, is constructing a big language model that has been trained not only on English but also on regional Indian languages. 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 comes at a time when investors across the world are scrambling to find and support AI breakthroughs, betting on the idea that innovations in the field would boost productivity across a wide range of sectors and that cutting-edge firms could provide generational returns.