Kstart Capital, a unique seed program by one of India’s leading Venture Capital firms Kalaari Capital, has invested an undisclosed amount in Vernacular.ai recently. The company is founded by 3 IIT Roorkee graduates, Sourabh Gupta, Akshay Deshraj and Manoj Sarda.
“Our vision is to create a broad-based engagement platform for a billion Indians using AI to address needs of people who can be reached only through vernacular languages. In a country of more than 1.3 billion people, only about 150 million can understand English. For others, Internet is largely inaccessible. We are building India specific products to solve this problem. We are delighted to be supported by Kstart and to see them share our vision”, commented Sourabh Gupta, CEO, Vernacular.ai.
Vernacular.ai has been working with financial institutions on interesting use-cases resulting in scalable ways to increase business, reduce operational expenditure and enhance customer loyalty and satisfaction. Businesses in India are struggling to engage with their multi- lingual customers digitally. By 2020, India will have more than 500 million mobile Internet users who don’t use english.
“The challenges of Indian languages are very different from English. Transliteration in different scripts, identification of context for each language and wide usage of a hybrid combination of multiple languages are complex NLP problems. We are developing our own in-house technology to solve this problem in collaboration with leading industry and academia”, noted Akshay Deshraj, CTO Vernacular.ai.
Vernacular.ai launched a B2C product earlier this year called Aisha – India’s first personal assistant in Hindi Language for people living in Tier-2 & Tier-3 areas. The product saw strong traction with 50 thousand users exchanging over a million messages in a short period.
“Vernacular.ai marks the success of our EIR program, and the first to convert to a portfolio company. The founders have scaled up their business rapidly by being resourceful and also shown the resilience to keep evolving their approach to solving this problem. We see this as a huge untapped opportunity and are excited about the future possibilities to create impact”, adds Muthiah Venkateswaran, Partner, Kstart Capital.
Sumit Jain, Partner, Kalaari Capital, who joins the board of the company observed, “There is a significant opportunity for Indian AI startups to solve India specific problems both for businesses and consumers. We are confident that Vernacular.ai will become the engagement partner of choice for businesses that want to leverage AI to solve for core issues. We wish the founder’s great success in this journey”.
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