Ola founder Bhavish Aggarwal's Krutrim Emerges as India's First $1 Billion AI Startup

Ola founder Bhavish Aggarwal's Krutrim Emerges as India's First $1 Billion AI Startup
Krutrim, the AI startup founded by serial entrepreneur Bhavish Aggarwal, has attained unicorn status after a successful funding round, securing $50 million from notable investors such as Matrix Partners India. In a recent blog post, the company celebrated its achievement as the first Indian AI startup to reach a billion-dollar valuation. This remarkable feat was accomplished within a month of introducing a substantial language model.
The startup, aptly named Krutrim, translating to "artificial" in Sanskrit, is not only focusing on advancing AI language capabilities but is also delving into the development of data centres. The ultimate goal is to create servers and supercomputers tailored to the evolving needs of the AI ecosystem. Krutrim is a family of Large Language Models, including Krutrim base and Krutrim Pro which will have multimodal, larger knowledge capabilities, and many other technical advancements for inference. According to the company's blog post, it is trained on over 2 trillion tokens. Krutrim accomplishes better performance on multiple well-known, global, LLM evaluation benchmarks including MMLU, HellaSwag, BBH, PIQA and ARC.
Krutrim is set to release its beta version for consumers in February 2024. Furthermore, it will be offered as an API for enterprises and developers aiming to build AI applications. The competition to develop extensive language models in Indian languages, referred to as Indic LLMs, has gained traction among multiple Indian startups and academic organizations. This heightened interest was triggered by the unveiling of OpenAI's ChatGPT over a year ago. The impetus behind this drive is to establish homegrown AI systems, diminishing reliance on technologies originating from the United States or China.
In the European market, investors are directing investments towards Mistral AI, a French startup that has been valued at $2 billion since its establishment last year. Likewise, the United Arab Emirates takes pride in its Falcon model, supported by a government research institute in Abu Dhabi. On the other hand, India is adopting a strategy focused on developing smaller, cost-effective AI systems. Sarvam, a generative AI startup, recently introduced OpenHathi, its inaugural open-source Hindi LLM. This development followed a significant $41 million investment from Lightspeed Venture Partners, billionaire Vinod Khosla, and other supporters.
Bhavish Aggarwal, renowned as the founder of the Indian ride-hailing giant Ola, highlighted the need for India to build its own AI capabilities. In a statement, he declared, "We are fully committed to building the country’s first complete AI computing stack". Avnish Bajaj, Founder and MD, Matrix Partners India said “Bhavish has consistently brought cutting edge tech innovation to India at scale with Ola and Ola Electric – and now excitingly with Krutrim to power the journey of ‘Viksit Bharat’ digitally. We are incredibly privileged to deepen our partnership with Bhavish and Krutrim”.