Aiming To Be First AI Unicorn From India
‘My mantra in life is to dream of great things in technology and convert those dreams into great outcomes’
For Nagendra Nagaraja, CEO and Founder, AlphaICs, ‘Bringing new technologies in AI, processor design and automation’ — as the summary of his profile shared on LinkedIn states — is the need of the times.
To begin with, an agent-based Real AI Processor (RAP) invented by this software engineer, who chose to follow his heart by coming back to India after his higher studies, has created a new benchmark in AI applications.
RAP promises to revolutionise automation by its application in drones, robots, autonomous vehicles, UAV, IOT analytics, cloud computing and even supercomputers.
“We are the only AI chip company with complete R&D in India. If we are successful, it gives society a larger ambition to create more cutting-edge technology ventures,” Nagaraja shares with BW Businessworld.
Talking about his invention, he says, “Real AI is a net producer of data and information that benefits our society and enhances human welfare as opposed to current weak AI systems which are net consumer of the data. We are advancing AI compute with our patented technology called RAP, which would revolutionise the autonomous systems and help build the most powerful supercomputer in the world.”
“Our company is growing very rapidly, as in the last 18 months we have got two products working. We are now the world leaders in AI processor technology,” he proudly adds.
Nagaraja, along with Vinod Dham and Prashant Trivedi, founded AlphaICs in 2016 in Bangalore. With 25-plus team of scientists, hardware and software engineers, AlphaICs today is ready to capitalise on the newest opportunities at their India R&D centre.
Backing it are marquee investors like 3one4 Capital, Emerald, Technology Ventures, Endiya Partners and Rebright partners. Having raised $3.5 million till date, the company is gearing up to close $15 million funding in the next 3-4 months.
“We have inked a deal with global giants for deploying our solutions. Plans are afoot for a tie-up with an Indian firm as well. Reaching out to Japanese OEMs with our RAP technology is a game changer for us. This was enabled by our current investors, 3one4. Although we are gaining worldwide traction, Japan has been very keen on seeing a turnaround for the firm,” he says.
According to him, AlphaICs has launched three new platforms with potential to disrupt the AI market. There is alphaDrive for the automotive platform. It will ensure better safety and autonomous driving, and drive the next generation of transportation.
Then there is alphaEdge for use in robotics, drones, gaming and IoT analytics. “For this, we are engaging with one of the biggest service providers in India for deployment in IoT analytics and home automation, and with the biggest Japanese OEMs for robotics and factory automation.”
An finally, there is alphaAnalytics, for enterprise application, and for large AI dataset training and model discovery.
“These platforms will create huge value for our customers and hence will drive our topline. The total addressable market for these three platforms is close to $250 billion, which not only includes hardware, but the possibility of ecosystems we can create around it,” says Nagaraja.
Nagendra, who studied engineering in Bangalore, Chicago and hold a Ph.D from Coventry University in the UK, has worked for 18 years with companies like Lucent Microelectronics, Qualcomm ST and Nvidia. He has 30 ‘filed’ patents and 27 ‘granted’ patents in wireless, security, multimedia and artificial intelligence.
“Chanakya is my idol. I am inspired by his focus on achieving goals. In order to build my company, we require all the knowledge from Chanakya. It is not easy to build a hardware, let alone a processor company. My mantra in life is to dream of great things in technology and convert those dreams into great outcomes. Going forward, we will find AlphaICs to be the first unicorn from India in the area of AI processor five years down the line,” signs off Nagendra.