AI Investor pi Ventures Announce Second Close at $25M

The Bengaluru-based VC plans to invest in 18 to 20 startups from this fund over a 3 to 4 year time frame.

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pi Ventures, India’s first applied artificial intelligence, machine learning and IoT focused early stage venture fund, announced the second close of their fund at $25 million (approximately Rs 160 crore). The fund is expected to announce their final close soon. Key contributors include Chairman of Hero Enterprise Sunil Kant Munjal; Electronic Development Fund (managed by Canbank Ventures); leading electronics company Hero Electronixs and leading HNIs and entrepreneurs. Earlier limited partners included India’s top lender and even small businesses; SIDBI; In Colour Capital from Canada; prominent family offices from USA, Canada, Singapore and India, and leading entrepreneurs like Mohandas Pai, Binny Bansal, Deep Kalra, Sanjeev Bikchandani and Bhupen Shah among others.

Cofounded by Manish Singhal and Umakant Soni, pi Ventures invests in early stage startups that focus on solving problems in healthcare, logistics, retail, fin-tech and enterprise sectors using applied AI, ML and IoT. The Bengaluru-based VC plans to invest in 18 to 20 startups from this fund over a 3 to 4 year time frame.

Sunil Kant Munjal said, “It is heartening to see many free-spirited Indians who are not just trying to make a mark in applied AI and machine learning but also seeking new frontiers. Supporting them through pi Ventures is an interesting and exciting opportunity. After all, the future of technology doesn’t just belong to mega corporations; it belongs equally to smart and visionary people working in small companies and startups’’.

In a short period of time, Sunil Kant Munjal-promoted Hero Enterprise has made key investments in high-growth ecommerce enterprises, cutting-edge lighting solution firms, as well as hospitality and fine dining ventures. It is also supporting startups that focus on digital learning, community transportation, healthcare, women empowerment and children’s education. Also, Hero Enterprise has funded impact investment projects that have taken an entrepreneurship-based approach to socio-economic challenges.

Manish Singhal, founding partner, pi Ventures said, “We are thankful to our backers and privileged to be able to support innovation that will make a tangible difference not only to businesses and the economy but more importantly to the lives of people. We are very excited to be able to back path breaking companies in the artificial intelligence area making a substantial difference in various sectors like healthcare, logistics, and Energy”.

pi Ventures has made four investments so far, in the healthcare and energy-efficiency space, namely Sigtuple, NIRAMAI Health Analytix, Ten3T and Zenatix. 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. NIRAMAI Health Analytix is a health-tech startup that is building a revolutionary non-invasive, non-touch, non-radiation approach to detect breast cancer much earlier than traditional methods or self-examination. Ten3T builds wearable medical devices that collects and integrates medical grade data in real time like an ECG through its own smart patches to enable mobile ICU for smaller hospitals. Zenatix is a data-driven energy efficiency company that uses advanced machine learning based models and delivers up to 30% energy efficiency to large commercial consumers of electricity along with predictive insights to prevent downtown.

pi Ventures holds interesting #chAI (AI over a cup of chai) sessions to bring together and encourage the ecosystem. An open-for-all session, it has been attended by researchers from universities, startups, large companies and students. Startup founders share how they use AI to solve problems. These sessions lead to a lot of cross pollination of ideas among founders and educates the audience about best practices in building AI companies.

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