Press Release

Enterprise AI Startup Nextbillionai Raises $7M in Series A funding from Lightspeed India Partners and Falcon Edge

Nextbillionai, a diversified enterprise AI platform founded in early 2020, today announced a $7 million Series A investment co-led by Lightspeed Venture Partners and Falcon Edge Capital.

Co-Founded by Ajay Bulusu, Gaurav Bubna and Shaolin Zheng, Nextbillionai aims to be the global leader in AI-powered hyperlocal solutions. Areas such as mapping, NLP, content moderation and facial-recognition related challenges multiply with hyperlocal nuances peculiar to emerging markets, rendering solutions made for the developed world rather inefficient for over a billion users. Nextbillionai aims to serve these unserved/underserved next billion users, starting with comprehensive and innovative mapping solutions.

Ajay, Gaurav and Shaolin were the key members of the technology leadership team at Grab, that developed Grab Maps, which was the location platform of the decacorn that focused on features like ETA, Routing and Pricing among others.

Nextbillionai has onboarded Hemant Mohapatra, Partner at Lightspeed and Navroz Udwadia, Co-Founder and Partner of Falcon Edge Capital to the Board of Directors and are supported by an impressive group of global angel investors including Nishant Rao, ex-COO of Freshworks, Prashant Malik, Founder of Cassandra, Anand Chandrasekeran and Ashwini Asokan, Founders of Mad Street Den.

“The opportunity in solving hyperlocal challenges is huge, and mapping is just one of them. We at Lightspeed are excited by the prospect of partnering with this team as they build a range of turnkey enterprise solutions around Maps, Facial AI and NLP to address the needs of the next billion consumers both in developing and developed markets,” said Hemant Mohapatra, Partner, Lightspeed Ventures.

“Nextbillionai team brings in world-class expertise in creating enterprise mapping solutions, at scale. We are confident they will build customisable, scalable and effective hyperlocal mapping solutions tailored towards the needs of emerging markets across the world, leveraging artificial intelligence and significant domain expertise” said Navroz Udwadia, Co-Founder and Partner, Falcon Edge Capital. 

While commenting on the new investment, Ajay Bulusu, Co-Founder, said, “Emerging markets across the world are far more complex, with different languages, cultures, hyperlocal nuances and densely populated cities, than the developed markets. We see opportunity in these complexities. With our first product nextbillionmaps, we are building intuitive and intelligent location AI-platform using open-source data combined with proprietary client data, that makes logistics, transport, ride-hailing, delivery, e-commerce solutions accessible to the next billion users effectively, efficiently and affordably. We quickly intend to expand into multiple verticals delivering world-class AI-powered solutions to our customers.” 

“We see opportunity in building an inclusive world offering equal access to technology solutions in the most intelligent, secured and affordable manner,” added Gaurav Bubna, Co-founder, Nextbillionai

With presence in Singapore, China and India, Nextbillionai aims to get AI to work for solving the needs of the next billion markets. As more and more global companies set their sights on the next billion markets as their next growth engines they would need partners who can help them scale operations with hyperlocal, cost-effective and customized solutions. Nextbillionai has already partnered with leading global brands representing various verticals including social media, ride-hailing, food delivery, freight and logistics across the US, India, Southeast Asia, and China. Nextbillionmaps, the first product of Nextbillionai is an AI-first maps Saas Platform that provides enterprises with a range of API’s like routing, navigation, direction and distance matrix. In a first for the mapping world, they also provide highly specialized AI tooling capabilities that support map data curation and maintenance.

About Nextbillionai

Founded in 2020 with a mission to be the world’s most hyperlocal AI company, Nextbillionai aims to help enterprises targeting their next billion users in emerging markets. Headquartered in Singapore, Nextbillionai is the brainchild of Ajay Bulusu, Gaurav Bubna and Shaolin Zheng, the former senior leadership of Grab. Nextbillionai is focused on building hyperlocal solutions using AI as the core to solve challenges of emerging markets where language and geospatial infrastructure challenges are significantly complex and unique. Among the product offerings of Nextbillionai are nextbillionmaps which is an AI-based total mapping solution providing customisable features such as routing and navigation, matrix calculation, map data curation among others. Second unique product by Nextbillionai currently under the making is nextbilliontasks where AI is used for seamless decoding of data to simplify the multi-lingual texts, image classification, sentiment analysis and video annotations. The company has received its series A funding from Lightspeed Ventures and Falcon Edge.

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