Sarvam AI Secures $41 Million in Series-A Funding for ChatGPT-like Generative AI Model in India

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In a significant development, Sarvam AI, an Indian startup specializing in Generative AI, akin to industry giants like OpenAI and Google DeepMind, has successfully raised $41 million in its Series A funding round. This funding, spearheaded by Lightspeed and featuring contributions from Peak XV Partners and Khosla Ventures, marks a pivotal moment for the five-month-old AI firm.

Sarvam AI Strategic Focus on Public-Good Applications

Sarvam AI distinguishes itself by prioritizing population-scale impact through the integration of GenAI on top of the India stack, particularly for public-good applications. This strategic focus aligns with the startup’s goal of addressing India’s unique needs and fostering the widespread adoption of Generative AI. The key objective is to train AI models capable of supporting the diverse array of Indian languages and voice-first interfaces.

Established in July 2023, Sarvam AI boasts a noteworthy lineage, founded by two key members of the AI4Bharat initiative backed by Infosys co-founder Nandan Nilekani. Pratyush Kumar, with a rich research background at IBM, Microsoft, and IIT Madras, joins forces with Vivek Raghavan, who brings over a decade of experience in building India’s Digital Public Infrastructure (DPI), notably Aadhar.

Population-Scale Impact and Innovation

Vivek Raghavan, co-founder of Sarvam AI, emphasized the potential of GenAI to reimagine technology’s value in people’s lives at a population scale. He highlighted the unique opportunity to innovate at foundational layers and deploy technology in a way that resonates with India’s tech-savvy population.

Sarvam AI

Foundational Research Challenges in India

Pratyush Kumar, a co-founder deeply involved in the open-source Indian language AI initiative AI4Bharat incubated at IIT Madras, expressed the startup’s commitment to attracting top talent for tackling foundational research challenges within India. Kumar acknowledged the dual nature of the race towards more powerful AI, describing the excitement and division it brings.

Inclusive Approach: Sarvam – ‘All’ in Sanskrit

Reflecting on the broader context, Pratyush Kumar explained the choice of the company name, Sarvam, derived from Sanskrit, meaning ‘all.’ The intentional focus on technical and ecosystem innovations aims to make AI technology accessible to everyone, aligning with the company’s vision.

Affordability and Unique Use Cases

Sarvam AI not only aspires to develop uniquely Indian use cases for Generative AI but also aims to make them economically accessible to a wide audience. This becomes particularly relevant in a global landscape where countries are striving to establish Sovereign AI models to catalyze economic development.

Transformative Vision for Indian Generative AI

Sarvam AI’s successful funding round and its visionary approach underscore a transformative journey towards building and deploying Generative AI tailored to India’s diverse needs. The strategic alignment with public-good applications and the commitment to inclusivity position Sarvam AI as a significant player in the evolving landscape of AI innovation.

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