DheeYantra Research Labs, the company behind vernacular chatbot platform dhee.ai, recently raised an undisclosed amount of funding in a seed round led by Centre for Innovation Incubation and Entrepreneurship (CIIE), the incubator-cum-investment arm of IIM-Ahmedabad. This funding round also witnessed the participation of Gopal Krishna, former managing director of Maxim India Integrated Circuits and stock market mogul Vijay Kedia.
The funds raised will serve to strengthen the firm’s sales and marketing units while also investing on additional features such as improving support in additional languages for the Indian and overseas markets.
DheeYantra was founded in 2017 by Vidhu Beenie and Sreekumar Jairaj and provides voice and text-based platform dhee.ai, which is supported by their flagship natural language processing product covering Indian local languages. The platform is dedicated to provide businesses with reach of customers speaking native Indian languages. Their chatbot currently supports nine Indian languages most notably, Telegu, Kannada, Marathi, Tamil, Malayalam, Hindi and Bengali.
Additionally, the firm claims that dhee.ai is programmed and equipped to handle routine queries, customer care, sales and assisting support and marketing executives improve their productivity. Additionally, DheeYantra developed two more products – a vernacular optical character recognition (OCR) system that can read text documents written in several Indian languages, and an Indic Transliteration engine, which can translate texts in several Indian languages.
Centre for Innovation Incubation and Entrepreneurship (CIIE)
The CIIE is the tech business incubator of IIM Ahmedabad. It was founded with the aim of providing financial support to entrepreneurs who are willing to turn their business ideas in business models.
Since its inception in 2009, the venture fund has already poured 90 investments and mentored over 2,000 startups through its MentorEdge Network. This month, CIIE announced it prepared $25 million to back social-impact tech startups. The initiative, called Bharat Inclusion Initiative aims at mentoring startups over the coming three to four years across several segments, notably, financial inclusion, livelihood, education and health.
The project received funds worth $12.5 million from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation, Omidyar Network and Tata Trusts. A portion of this sum will be included in the Bharat Inclusion Seed Fund, which aims to financially back startups looking to raise pre-Series A or seed funding rounds.