Sarvam AI, a five-month-old Indian startup, has emerged from stealth mode, announcing a successful funding round of $41 million. The Seed and Series A financing rounds were led by Lightspeed, which also co-led the Seed round with Peak XV Partners. Khosla Ventures joined as a participant in the Series A funding.
Based in Bengaluru, Sarvam AI focuses on developing large language models (LLMs) that specifically support Indian languages. Vivek Raghavan, co-founder of Sarvam AI, revealed that the startup is working on creating a platform enabling businesses to build with LLMs, covering aspects from app development to deployment, log observation, and custom evaluation.
Sarvam AI also announced the news on X (formerly Twitter). They are now also hiring across functions like research, engineering, and product.
In addition to language support, Sarvam AI places a significant emphasis on utilizing voice as the primary interface in India. Raghavan explained that this approach involves altering the architecture of existing open models and custom training to better understand and generate Indian languages efficiently.
The startup, founded by Raghavan and Pratyush Kumar, who both previously worked at AI4 Bharat of IIT Madras, plans to make its first model public in the coming weeks. The investment comes at a time when global investors are actively seeking breakthroughs in AI, anticipating substantial efficiency improvements across various industries.
Despite India boasting one of the world’s largest startup ecosystems, it has yet to establish a strong presence in the rapidly advancing field of AI. Sarvam AI aims to bridge this gap by developing expertise in building AI tailored for India, acknowledging the strategic importance of sovereign efforts in the GenAI space.
Lightspeed partner Hemant Mohapatra highlighted Sarvam AI’s unique approach, combining model innovation and application development to create population-scale solutions for India. The startup’s commitment to addressing uniquely Indian use cases and making AI solutions affordable positions it well for success.
Vinod Khosla, founder of Khosla Ventures, also posted on X (previously Twitter) about his excitement to join Sarvam AI.
As Sarvam AI moves forward, industry watchers will be closely monitoring its contributions to the GenAI landscape, ensuring transparency, and evaluating its impact on India’s AI industry.