Startups form the backbone of the Indian economy. This year, the Indian startup ecosystem outdid itself, with startups raising as much as $26 billion within the first eight months of the year. Of this, artificial intelligence or AI-backed startups form a chunk. According to AIM Research, Indian AI startups raised $836.3 million in funding in 2020.
Today, we take a look at the AI startups that got funded in 2021 so far.
AI-driven robot maker Haber has raised $20 million in its Series B round of funding in November. The investment round was led by Ascent Capital, with participation from Accel, Elevation Capital, Beenext, Temasek partner Mukul Chawla and entrepreneurs Samay Kohli and Akash Gupta.
Haber operates under Pune-based parent company, Elixa Technologies. The startup aims to use the freshly raised funds to expand across new geographies and industries, with the mission of saving over 400 billion litres of water in the next two years.
IIT-Madras incubated Planys Technologies has raised $1.6 million in its Pre-Series A investment round. The marine robotics startup has raised funds from Keiretsu Forum, Shell and Lets Venture. Additionally, existing investors Kris Gopalakrishnan, ONGC Startup Fund and MEMG also participated in the round.
Planys Technologies will utilise the fund to accelerate its research and development, expand internationally and develop underwater asset management products.
AI-backed H2O.ai raised $100 million in November. The investment round was led by the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, with participation from Goldman Sachs and Pivot Investment Partners, among others.
The startup was founded by Sri Satish Ambati in 2012, and its platform H2O AI Cloud is on a mission to simplify the work involved in ML projects.
Delhi-based Zini.ai raised an undisclosed amount of funding from London-based VC firm Solarus Group. The AI-powered multilingual virtual physician platform by Grainpad Pvt Ltd was founded in 2017 by Dr Rohit Sharma.
Zini.ai is the country’s first voice-based virtual physician. The Delhi-based startup plans to use the raised funds to expand to new geographies.
Founded by Raj Koneru, conversational AI software startup Kore.ai raised $50 million in its Series C round of funding from Vistara Growth and PNC. VC firms NextEquity Partners, Nicola Wealth and Beedie Capital also participated in the round.
Headquartered in Orlando, Kore.ai’s engineering team works out of Hyderabad. The AI startup plans to utilise the funds to scale its efforts towards becoming a leader in the Experience Optimisation space.
Mumbai-based startup Emotix, which is short for emotional intelligence, was founded in 2015 by IIT Bombay alumni Sneh Vaswani, Prashant Iyenger and Chintan Rajkar. Earlier in April this year, it raised Rs 26 crore or $3.5 billion as a mix of debt and equity from Vistra ITCL (India) Ltd, an independent trustee, on behalf of IvyCap Ventures Trust Fund II.
Emotix has developed a companion robot Miko to help parents keep their children occupied with the help of computer vision. Emotix bets on AI, robotics, and the Internet of Things(IoT) to identify moods, initiate conversations and learn from its surroundings to engage with a child. The Mumbai-based startup is also backed by Chiratae Ventures and YourNest Capital.
Emotix aims to provide solutions to 20 million homes across childcare and elderly care verticals as its future plans.
Based out of Bengaluru, deeptech startup Myelin Foundry was founded by Gopichand Katragadda, Ganesh Suryanarayanan and Aditi Olemann in 2019. The startup raised $1 million in its pre-Series A round in May 2021. The round was led by VC firm Beyond Next Ventures, with participation from existing investor Endiya Partners.
Myelin Foundry transforms human experiences and industry outcomes for edge devices by building AI algorithms on video, voice and sensor data. It is also backed by Microsoft for Startups, Pratithi Investment Trust, and investor and Infosys founder Kris Gopalakrishnan.
AI-powered mental health application Wysa has raised $5.5 million in its Series A funding round in May this year. The Bengaluru-based startup was founded in 2015 by Touchkin eServices, Jo Aggarwal and Ramakant Vempati. The company also has offices in London and Boston. The startup is also backed by pi Ventures, Kae Capital and others.
Wysa acts like a mental wellness platform, helping employees of a particular company or patients manage stress by analysing their anxiety behaviour.
Deeptech startup Cron AI raised $4 million, which is about Rs 29.3 crore, in its Series A investment round. The funding was led by Kitaki Ventures and VenturEast. Founded in 2015 by Saurav Agarwala, Tushar Chhabra, and Tommy Katzenellenbogen, Cron AI enables innovators to develop solutions to perceive and learn the real world using 3D sensors.
According to media reports, Cron AI plans to use the latest funding to fasten the delivery of its sensor-agnostic 3D data perception platform SenseEDGE. SenseEDGE will be addressing 3D perception, sensing and processing requirements in new markets.
Delhi and Cambridge-based startup Elucidata raised $5 million from investors IvyCap Ventures, with participation from Hyperplane Venture Capital and other angel investors. The biomedical molecular data startup was founded in 2015 by Abhishek Jha, Swetabh Pathak and Richard Kibbey.
Elucidata leverages machine learning to power biomedical data for the acceleration of drug discovery through its cloud platform Polly.
Additionally, more AI startups raised funding: Light Information Systems raised $5.4 million from Pavestone Ventures; Data Sutram raised an undisclosed amount from IIFL Fintech Fund; Fivetran raised $565 million from new and existing investors, among others.