pi Ventures, an early stage fund focused on investing in startups leveraging machine learning, AI and IoT has announced the first close of their maiden fund at $13 million. It started building on a $30 million fund a year ago which is expected to close within this year.
Limited partners include SIDBI, family offices from USA, Canada, Singapore and India and entrepreneurs like Mohandas Pai, Binny Bansal, Deep Kalra, Sanjeev Bikchandani and Bhupen Shah among others.
Co-founded by Manish Singhal and Umakant Soni in 2016, pi Ventures was established to invest in early stage startups that focus on solving problems in healthcare, logistics, retail, fin-tech and enterprise sectors using AI, ML and IoT. The Bengaluru-based VC also plans to invest in 18-20 start-ups from this fund over a 3-4 year time frame.
“India is the dark horse in the AI race given it has lot of data, brilliant data science talent & early adoption environment due to broken processes and we are happy to play a part in helping India leapfrog with AI. We are thankful to our early backers, investors and founders who have chosen to work with us. We are very excited to play a role in building a strong AI based product ecosystem in India,” said Manish Singhal, Founding Partner, pi Ventures.
So far, the VC has made three investments in the healthcare and energy-efficiency space, namely SigTuple, Zenatix and ten3T. SigTuple is in the medical diagnostic space and is creating a deep learning driven, cloud based solution for detection of abnormalities and trends in medical data, for blood diagnosis. Zenatix is a data-driven energy efficiency company that uses advanced machine learning based models and delivers 10 to 30% energy efficiency to large commercial consumers of electricity along with predictive insights to prevent downtown. ten3T is in continuous monitoring of medical data like ECG in real time through its own smart patches to enable mobile ICU for smaller hospitals.
Inorder to encourage the startup ecosystem, pi Ventures holds #chAI (AI over a cup of chai) sessions attended by researchers from universities, startups, large companies and students. This gives startup founders a platform to share how they use AI to solve problems.