AI Startups: India’s move to carve its own path in global technology race
With India increasingly using technology to enable people to get access to better services in finance, education, health care and agriculture, demand for Artificial Intelligence-enabled software has increased in the country, giving startups an opportunity to enter in an area which is both exciting and challenging as well
Indian teenager Pranjali Awasthi founded Delv.AI, an Artificial Intelligence startup, is creating waves in the technology sector. Set up in 2022, it is today valued at approximately $12 million (Rs 100 crore). Operating at the intersection of marketing, analytics and applied AI, the startup company in its LinkedIn profile boasts having a team of 10 dedicated professionals.
In reflection, it shows achievements of startup companies in the challenging and complex areas of AI.
There are about 5,000 AI startups in India. These startups are working on a broad range of solutions, including generative tools like OpenAI’s ChatGPT and Google’s Bard.
India is home to hundreds of Generative AI companies, which are, as per NASSCOM data, employing about 416,000 professionals. Generative AI refers to the capability of artificial intelligence-enabled machines to use existing text, audio files, or images to create new content.
However, use of Generative AI is still in its early stages as such, this sector has so far 60 startups most of whom are operating from Bengaluru, Mumbai, and Delhi.
In 2022, Indian AI startups received $3.2 billion in investments, making India the fifth country with most AI investments ahead of Germany, Canada, South Korea, and Australia. AI investments in India have surpassed $7.7 billion since 2013.
Recognizing the potential of AI startups in India, more AI funds are coming up to support these efforts. For example, Together Fund, a Bengaluru-based venture capital firm, has launched a $150 million fund to support early-stage AI startups.
Initiatives to promote AI
Several initiatives have been launched in the field of AI and emerging technologies in an effort to provide people benefits of technology. In this regard, steps have been taken to promote AI awareness among school going children.
In Phase I, 50,666 students and 2536 teachers from 2252 schools from 35 States and UTs attended orientation sessions on AI. In Phase II, 100 teams were short listed and they have undergone extensive mentoring by AI experts. In Phase-III, top 20 students have demonstrated their solutions in the national conference.
India has also joined the league of leading economies including the US, the UK, the EU, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, South Korea, Singapore as a founding member of the Global Partnership on Artificial Intelligence (GPAI), which is an international and multi-stakeholder initiative to guide the responsible development and use of AI, grounded in human rights, inclusion, diversity, innovation, and economic growth.
In 2020, India organized Responsible AI for Social Empowerment (RAISE), a first-of-its-kind global meeting of minds on Artificial Intelligence to drive the country’s vision and roadmap for social transformation, inclusion, and empowerment through responsible AI.
It was attended by 79,000+ stakeholders from academia, research, industry, and government representatives from 147 participating countries.320 distinguished speakers from 21 countries participated in the event.
In May 2020, India launched ‘National AI Portal.’ It serves as a central hub for AI related news, learning, articles, events, and activities.
Indian AI startups and innovations
Indian AI startups are stepping up to provide solutions to problems in industries ranging from security to health, education, and farming. With this, they are also helping India in going up the ladder in the global innovation index.
This year, India found itself at 40th rank out of 132 economies in the Global Innovation Index rankings published by the World Intellectual Property Organisation.
India has been on a rising trajectory, over the past several years in the Global Innovation Index (GII), from a rank of 81 in 2015 to 40 in 2023. Innovation has been at the forefront of India’s battle against the unprecedented crisis created by the pandemic.
India’s top AI startups
India is home to notable AI startups like ChironX, Innefu Labs, Staqu, CropIn and Arya.ai
ChironX is a healthcare-focused AI startup. It has developed an AI-powered software that can detect diseases from medical images. For example, the software can help doctors detect retinal abnormality and respiratory infections from medical images.
As a result, ChironX saves doctors from administrative work burden and improves hospital workflow. The startup has teamed up with various hospitals to improve their diagnostic processes.
Innefu Labs is an AI company focused on offering security solutions. It has developed several AI tools, including those that help with predictive policing and biometric authentication.
Innefu Labs’ clients include government agencies, intelligence agencies, and businesses such as banks.
Staqu has developed AI-powered tools that help with image-based search and analytic tasks. Its solutions can be applied in security and other business processes.
In security, Staqu can help with facial and speech recognition. It can also help with crowd analysis, traffic management, and criminal identification. For business clients, Staqu provides data analytic tools.
CropIn is focused on providing AI-powered solutions to the agriculture sector. It helps in improving crop productivity and farm profitability by providing farmers with insights on weather forecasting and crop health. Moreover, CropIn can help with pest detection. The startup has worked with several government agencies serving farmers.
Arya.ai is an AI startup that supports other AI startups with the goal of promoting responsible AI adoption. It offers solutions that help AI developers build and deploy complex AI automation tools at scale. Arya.ai is primarily used by financial services clients, such as banks and insurance companies.
India aims to become a leading nation in the field of AI. To achieve this goal, the government is working in partnership with academia, startups, and industry players to develop cutting-edge technology in various fields, including agriculture, health, and sustainable cities.
Today, the growth rate for the sector is estimated at about 20-25%. It is estimated that AI will contribute an additional $957 billion to India’s economy, by 2035.