AI Start-Ups: Top 4 Exciting Indian start-ups

By : |November 22, 2018 0

By Rajan Navani, Managing Director and CEO, JetSynthesys

The artificial intelligence market is seeing enormous excitement and interest – and investment. Artificial Intelligence as a technology has grown over the last few years in a way that it can be applicable to different industry backgrounds, such as providing AI services to healthcare, banking, fintech, diagnostics and HR, among others giving investors the right reason to invest. As per Crunchbase, the total amount of venture investment in AI in 2017 was at just under $5 billion in approximately 750 companies, well up from the $3.3 billion in 450 companies in 2016. India accounted for more than 200 AI start-ups of the 750 global start-ups in 2017.

According to Researchers, India is now the fourth largest globally in terms of AI talent pool. The talent pool that has given rise to more than 200 AI startups had attracted about $200 million+ funding in 2017. Some of the few big tech companies that are implementing AI include Amazon, AIG, Equifax, Infosys and NVIDIA forming the top four funded startups based originally in India using AI technology were identified by start-up intelligence firm Tracxn, based on a research. While three out of four of these companies now have a US presence through a second headquarters or work with prominent US clients, all companies listed were founded and still have open offices in India.

Rajan Navani, Managing Director & CEO, JetSynthesys

Rajan Navani, Managing Director & CEO, JetSynthesys

They key factor in AI-based firms attracting investments in India is solely not because it fulfils niche solutions that could change the way industries operate. But, because of the maturity and sustainability that certain AI products have achieved in their areas of work that is attracting investors. While leading countries are US and China, other countries are learning and growing in terms of finding a combination of research, entrepreneurship, funding and M&A to build a sustainable and competitive AI ecosystem.


As an offshoot of their experience, growing AI startups [in India] are focusing on building that ecosystem with processes and algorithms to expand data sources, expand raw data sets, handle unstructured data, and contributing to a sustainable ecosystem that their businesses can survive and prosper in. In an Indian context, and based on the startup activity, it is believed that teams with a narrow focus but solution depth, have the highest odds of success, given the global competition for AI talent. It has clearly resulted in Investor shift in focus to a more sustainable high achieving AI solution.

AI as a technology, is being an enabler for start-ups today and is aiding in boosting business outcomes. The biggest companies such as Facebook have been using AI technology for last few years to improve both customer centricity, execution speed and retention. Take for instance Facebook’s newsfeed which uses machine learning model to measure which content becomes stale & which is more engaging with respect to timelines of each topic, so the right topics get surfaced over and over, thereby improving engagement and retention on the platform.

In similar vein, startups today need of think of which is the highest customer centricity metric that can be improved with AI – be it engagement, retention, support, risk assessment etc. where AI can come help in solving problems at scale. In terms of execution speed for e.g. most of the fin-tech startups have begun using AI to determine risk propensity of a customer in minutes, so that loans could be disbursed quickly and the business can rapidly scale in giving more loans to those who can afford them while reducing defaults.

Here are a list of some really cool and exciting Indian start-ups that have caught the investor eye and confidence in the ever increasing start-up space.

Gupshup is a messaging and bot development platform. They had raised over $47 million and are currently in the series E funding stage.


NetraDyne provides cutting edge technology in Artficial Intelligence, machine learning and edge computing to help reduce accidents by creating a new standard of safe driving of commercial vehicles. The company has raised close to $16 million in two rounds of funding. is an AI-enabled candidate sourcing platform and an outbound recruitment solution for businesses target, engage and hire talented candidates. After being founded in the year 2014, the company has received $15 million in two rounds of funding, their recent being Series B.


Unbxd is a cloud-based product discovery platform for e-commerce. It was founded in the year 2010 and grown at pace with the AI industry. The company recently entered it Series C funding round for a $12.5 million.

While many of the offices are still in India, companies are expanding at a rapid pace across the globe. After raising $12.5 million in Series C funding, Unbxd opened offices in Mountain View, Calif. and Oak Brook, Illinois. Gupshup has also opened a US headquarters to San Francisco, Calif., with American marquis clients including Facebook, Twitter and Ebay.

The focus areas of investors are an indication of what investors are looking for, it also highlights what businesses need to do to attract investment. India holds a lot of potential for building niche solutions that may be a low priority in other geographies. Some of the sectors where India holds tremendous opportunity are agriculture, healthcare, education, financial services, logistics, and energy.

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