Sarvam AI, an emerging AI startup dedicated to addressing the unique needs of India, has successfully raised $41 million in a Series A funding round. Led by Lightspeed, the investment round also saw participation from Peak XV Partners and Vinod Khosla's Khosla Ventures, marking a significant milestone as the largest early-stage fundraising effort for an Indian AI startup to date.
Co-founded by Vivek Raghavan and Pratyush Kumar, Sarvam AI aims to create a holistic approach towards the development of productive AI. Their strategic focus spans the entire spectrum of generative AI, from pioneering research initiatives in custom model training to establishing an enterprise-grade platform for model authoring and deployment. According to a report by Business Standard, this holistic approach is expected to catalyze the adoption of Gen AI across India, especially as businesses seek to harness its potential but face implementation challenges.
Presenting the linguistic diversity of India
With an emphasis on India's diverse linguistic landscape and voice-enabled interfaces, Sarvam AI plans to train AI models to suit various Indian languages and dialects. The company hopes to develop domain-specific AI models using indigenous data sets, collaborating closely with local institutions. Ultimately, Sarvam AI aims to achieve broad societal impact by integrating Gen AI solutions into India's existing infrastructure, with an emphasis on applications that serve the public good.
Sarvam AI, operating out of India, is poised to significantly contribute to the country's strategic goals in the AI domain. Vinod Khosla, known for his pioneering investments in Silicon Valley AI ventures, emphasized the importance of specialized expertise in AI development tailored to India, including early support for OpenAI. Khosla Ventures, an early investor in OpenAI, has shown interest in strategic investments in the sector, TechCrunch reported.
Strategic partnership with Microsoft
Also, in a recent development, Microsoft announced its partnership with Sarvam AI to support the development of voice-based generative AI applications. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella unveiled the collaboration during his visit to India, underscoring the company's commitment to expanding its presence in the fast-growing Indian market. As part of the partnership, Sarvam AI will leverage Microsoft's cloud services, including the Azure OpenAI service, according to a Reuters report.
Nadella's visit also included an initiative aimed at providing AI skill opportunities to 2 million Indians by 2025, highlighting Microsoft's broader commitment to fostering digital literacy and innovation in the country. Sarvam AI's focus on developing Gen AI models for Indian languages aligns seamlessly with Microsoft's goals, representing a promising collaboration poised to drive innovation and social progress in India's AI landscape.
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