Silicon Valley artificial intelligence (AI) startup Two Platforms (TWO) was backed with a $15 million investment from India's Jio Platforms in exchange for a 25% stake in the company on a fully diluted basis, according to a blog post from TWO on Wednesday (Feb. TWO, founded by Pranav Mistry in July, focuses on building interactive and immersive AI experiences. TWO is moving towards what it believes is the next chapter of AI following text and voice -- visual and interactive. A pioneer in the fields of robotics, augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR), Mistry was most recently the president and CEO of Samsung Technology and Advanced Research. See also: India's Quick Commerce Startup Dunzo Raises $240M Led by Reliance Jio, led by Mukesh Ambani, is a subsidiary of Reliance Industries and is striving to transform digital services in India.
Pallonji Mistry, the Indian-born billionaire whose engineering empire built luxury hotels, stadiums, palaces and factories across Asia and whose family's epic showdown with the Tata Group sparked India's biggest corporate feud, has passed away in Mumbai. A company spokesperson confirmed the death of the Indian tycoon after social media posts on the news spread. Mistry and his family control the Shapoorji Pallonji Group, which started more than 150 years ago and today employs more than 50,000 people in over 50 countries, according to its website. Its landmark projects include the Reserve Bank of India and the Oberoi Hotel in Mumbai and the blue-and-gold Al Alam palace for the Sultan of Oman. Mistry accumulated a net worth of almost $29 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, making him one of the richest men in India and in Europe.
Today's artificial intelligence-based applications are changing people's lives in ways that often go unnoticed. A new study by Accenture, however, reports that AI could dramatically boost economic growth and productivity by up to 40% in 2035, prompting many to sit up and take notice of the burgeoning industry. Already advances in AI-powered technologies like robots, virtual assistants and augmented reality have stimulated fervent interest from companies such as Google, IBM, Apple, Facebook and Microsoft. And while it's hard to pinpoint the exact path that it will take, with global tech giants making huge strides in this sector, AI startups are arguably the most sought-after in today's global economy. The trend is catching on in India as well.
Marking a significant shift in India's digital journey, the Union Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, has presented the first-ever digital budget for the upcoming fiscal year starting April 2021. Her budget speech touched upon "proliferation of technologies, especially analytics, machine learning, robotics, bioinformatics, and artificial intelligence." The budget has come at a time when the country is still struggling with the massive economic slowdown precipitated by COVID pandemic. However, despite this downturn, businesses have seen a significant push towards digitisation, including acknowledging the importance of artificial intelligence across industries. As a matter of fact, India is considered one of the fastest-growing digital markets globally.
With Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg sparring over its ethics and China announcing its intention to create a $150 billion domestic industry based on it, Artificial Intelligence is perhaps the most discussed topic in the tech news cycle. It's likely to be a talking point no matter what your favourite watering hole for tech news. Billions of dollars have been invested by VCs in AI since 2016 with the US and China leading the race in record funding in terms of deals and dollars. In sharp contrast, Indian startups have collectively raised less than $100 million from (2014-2017YTD), according to data from startup analytics firm Tracxn -- that's smaller than Andrew Ng's recently launched $150 million VC fund. Another way to look at it: Grammarly, a Valley-based spell check tool raised more dollars than all of India's AI startups put together in the past three and a half years.