Sarvam AI secures $41 million to build the full stack generative AI

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Generative AI is all the rage currently, but Sarvam AI’s focus is a little distinct. The Bengaluru-based startup wants to focus on India’s unique needs. Sarvam AI’s generative AI models support a diverse set of Indian languages and voice-first interfaces. Carrying forward this vision, the startup has raised $41 million in a Series A round. The funding was led by Lightspeed and supported by Peak XV Partners and Khosla Ventures. It represents the largest raise at this stage for an Indian AI startup.

Sarvam Ai logo

The startup aims to use the fresh funds to develop the “full stack” for generative AI; ranging from research-led innovations in training custom AI models to an enterprise-grade platform for authoring and deployment. The company believes this approach will further boost the adoption of Gen Ai in India.

Hemant Mohapatra, Partner, Lightspeed, reflecting on their global experience in funding leading GenAI ventures, remarked, “Having backed some of the most influential names in GenAI globally, we are excited by Sarvam AI’s unique approach in combining model innovation and application development to build population-scale solutions for India. Lightspeed will be close partners and contribute with our deep capital stack and learnings from our global platform.”

The company will also work with Indian enterprises to co-build domain-specific AI models on their data. It aims to create population-scale impact layering GenAI on top of the highly successful India stack, specifically for public-good applications.

“I have seen firsthand the enormous value of innovating at the foundational layers and deploying at the population scale. India has demonstrated that it can harness technology differently, and with GenAI, we have an opportunity to reimagine how this technology can add value to people’s lives,” shared co-founder Vivek Raghavan.

About Sarvam AI

Established in July 2023, Sarvam AI is led by industry experts Vivek Raghavan and Pratyush Kumar. Raghavan has previously advised the government of India on various projects; including the Unique Identification Authority of India, the Unified Payments Interface, and the Goods and Services Tax Portal. In tandem, co-founder Kumar is the founder of the research initiative on open-source Indian language AI called AI4Bharat; and has a track record of building state-of-the-art AI models for Indian languages that are deployed for various public-good and commercial applications.

Co-founder of Sarvam AI, Pratyush Kumar, drawing on his research expertise in academia and corporate research, said, “Our aim is to establish Sarvam AI as a beacon for AI innovation, attracting the brightest minds to tackle foundational research challenges right here in India.”

Sarvam AI’s chief mission is to lead transformative research in AI; which will make the development, deployment, and distribution of GenAi apps in India much more robust and cheaper. The company believes that its full-stack approach will accelerate adoption of GenAI in India; especially given that enterprises see the potential of GenAI but are grappling with how to leverage it for their businesses.

Commenting on the people at Sarvam AI, Harshjit Sethi, Managing Director, Peak XV, said, “The Sarvam AI team led by Vivek and Pratyush is among the highest-calibre AI teams we have seen emerge from India. Vivek’s expertise in building large-scale systems, combined with Pratyush’s domain expertise in AI, makes them uniquely positioned to build population-scale AI applications. Large-scale adoption of AI in India will require not only building uniquely Indian use cases but also delivering them at prices that everyone can afford, and we believe the Sarvam team is best positioned to accomplish this.

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