India Dealbook: Chatbot firm Vernacular.ai, hyperlocal delivery startup Genie get funding

Photo: Mint

Vernacular.ai, a multilingual artificial intelligence platform for businesses, has raised funding from Kstart while hyperlocal delivery startup Genie has secured $250,000 from a group of HNIs.

Chatbot firm Vernacular.ai gets funding from Kstart

Vernacular.ai, a multilingual artificial intelligence platform for businesses, has secured an undisclosed amount of funding from Kstart, the seed program of venture capital firm Kalaari Capital.

“The challenges of Indian languages are very different from English. Transliteration in different scripts, identification of context for each language and wide usage of a hybrid combination of multiple languages are complex NLP problems. We are developing our own in-house technology to solve this problem in collaboration with leading industry [leaders] and academia,” said Akshay Deshraj, co-founder of Vernacular.ai.

Founded in 2016 by IIT-Roorkee graduates Sourabh Gupta, Akshay Deshraj and Manoj Sarda, Vernacular.ai had launched a B2C product earlier this year called Aisha – a personal assistant in Hindi for people living in tier-2 and tier-3 areas.

Hyperlocal delivery startup Genie gets funding from HNIs

Genie, a Chennai-based hyperlocal delivery startup, has received $250,000 in funding from a group of unnamed high net-worth individuals (HNIs).

The company will resume its operations with the funding and also focus on attaining scale and being operationally profitable in a year, it said in a statement.

“With the investment, we are going to try solving the last-mile logistics problem with a lot more courage,” said Rakesh Mani, co-founder of Genie.

Genie had decided to shut down the business on March 31 due to lack of funding.

The company was started in 2015 by Mani, Sreekesh Krishnan and Parth Shah. It helps businesses plan and execute deliveries according to parameters, including ticket size and distance.

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.