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Exclusive: Bhavish Aggarwal’s AI startup raises $24 Mn debt from Matrix

Ola co-founder Bhavish Aggarwal has mastered the art of fundraising, and the data says it all. After Ola amassed several billion dollars, he scooped up over $1 billion for his electric vehicle venture Ola Electric. And now his artificial intelligence firm Krutrim SI Designs has received $24 million debt from Matrix Partners who is a common and early investor in all three firms.

The board at Krutrim SI Designs has passed a special resolution to issue 38,901 Series A and 19,67,61,099 Series B debenture at a face value of Rs 10 each to raise Rs 197 crore or $24 million approximately, regulatory filings with the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) show.

The company was in talks to raise $50-100 million this year. Entrackr exclusively reported the development in August. With Matrix already onboard and the potential participation of Ola’s existing investors, this round is likely to see investments up to $100 million.

Matrix’s convertible debentures will be converted into equity shares in future potentially when Krutrim SI Designs will raise equity funding.

Krutrim SI Designs was incorporated in April this year with Tenneti Venugopala Krishnamurthy as co-founder. Krishnamurthy is a long-time board member of Ola’s parent company ANI Technologies. According to Entrackr’s sources, Aggarwal has been engaging with several startups based in the US and India for acquisition in the AI space.

Sources suggest that Krutrim SI Designs will help in developing and support the operations of Ola Electric. In a recent interview, Aggarwal disclosed that the new entity will focus on creating silicon chips, a cloud infrastructure to deliver solutions to customers, and AI models.

Meanwhile, IPO-bound Ola Electric is also raising a large round and it already raised $157 million in an ongoing Series E round.

There has been a newfound interest in the field of AI following the popularity of platforms like ChatGPT and India is too looking to capitalize on the trend. It is also worth noting that India is focusing on chips, which has also seen massive growth since the new AI boom. The government has already announced a $10 billion incentive for local chip production. 

Last month, Jio Platforms, a subsidiary of Mukesh Ambani-owned Reliance Industries, announced a partnership with global chipmaker NVIDIA to build cloud-based AI infrastructure in the country. Vedanta is also in the fray as it aims to produce chips from its facility in the next two and a half years or so.

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