India's AI4Bharat researchers secure $12 million for new AI startup Sarvam, as generative AI gains traction in the market. The larger seed funding round highlights the potential of custom-made large language models (LLMs) for India-centric use-cases. With Peak XV and Lightspeed Venture as investors, this move showcases the growing interest in human-like AI interactions. The investment comes amidst a surge in AI funding for Indian startups, signaling the continued growth of the industry.
The surge in seed funding highlights the fascination with generative AI, fueled by the impressive capabilities of OpenAI's ChatGPT in human-like conversations. While most seed rounds range from $1 million to $2 million, this substantial investment signifies the growing interest. Vivek Raghavan and Pratyush Kumar, known for their work on AI models for speech recognition and translation, are now embarking on a new venture, Sarvam. This innovative startup aims to develop custom-made large language models (LLMs) tailored to India's unique requirements. Unfortunately, Peak XV and Lightspeed have not yet commented on the matter in response to Reuters' requests.
LMs are the powerhouse behind virtual assistants on smartphones and the web, generating text in a remarkably human-like manner. This development follows AI4Bharat's introduction of a multilingual mobile assistant, making government scheme information accessible. As Peak XV Partners invests in Sarvam, their portfolio expands to include AI Rudder, Mad Street Den, and Insider. Despite economic uncertainties, the buzz around generative AI drives funding for startups. Indian AI ventures have secured an impressive $583 million this year, with last year's total reaching $2.45 billion, per Venture Intelligence data.