25 May 2017, India:
International Finance Corporation (IFC), a part of the World Bank Group, is investing $3 million in pi Ventures’ maiden fund, India’s first Applied Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Internet of Things (IoT) focused early stage venture fund.
The fresh funds will be utilized for investing in companies leveraging technologies such as applied artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and IoT across a range of sectors.
“This investment is aligned with IFC’s objective to act as a catalyst to spur entrepreneurial activity and support technology start-ups that drive innovation in India and globally, and solve complex problems across industries”, says Ruchira Shukla, Regional Lead, Venture Capital, South Asia, IFC.
Manish Singhal, Founding Partner, pi Ventures, says, “Getting IFC to back us in our journey is very meaningful to us. Not only do they bring a wealth of knowledge but also a worldwide network which can be very useful for our investee companies. We appreciate IFC backing disruptive product companies in the Applied AI space via pi Ventures.”
pi Ventures was founded in mid-2016 by Manish Singhal and Umakant Soni. Both come with rich experience in setting up, building and scaling companies. pi Ventures had recently announced the first close at $13 million. It has made four investments so far in the healthcare & energy-efficiency space, namely Sigtuple, Zenatix, Ten3T and NIRAMAI. 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 upto 30% energy efficiency to large commercial consumers of electricity. Ten3T has developed a solution for continuous monitoring of medical data like ECG in real time through its own smart patches that enable mobile ICUs for smaller hospitals. NIRAMAI is a startup that’s building a revolutionary non-invasive, non-touch, non-radiation approach to detect breast cancer.
India is IFC’s top country exposure, globally. IFC’s committed portfolio in India is over $5 billion as of June 30, 2016. In FY16, IFC committed $1.1 billion in new investments in the country. In addition to strengthening local capital markets in India, IFC is focused on boosting financing in infrastructure and logistics, promoting financial inclusion, helping create conditions to attract increased private capital, and helping structure public-private partnerships.