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This Bhopal-based startup has raised $4 milion from American investors to make autonomous cars a reality in India

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Sanjeev Sharma, founder of Swaayatt Robots

Sanjeev Sharma, founder of Swaayatt Robots

Bhopal-based AI and robotics startup Swaayatt Robots has raised $4 million or about Rs 33.6 crore in a funding round led by American angel investors.

While the startup didn't disclose the investors' names, the round increased the startup's valuation to $151 million. 

Interestingly, Swaayatt Robots plans to further raise $11 million at a valuation of around $175-$200 million.

Scaling research and development efforts


"We have closed $4M in funding, which is part of a much larger round we are raising with investors in the US. This round was closed at a $151M valuation, and the remainder of the funds will be around that as well (around $175M)," founder Sanjeev Sharma wrote in a LinkedIn post. 

According to Sharma, the new influx of capital will be used to scale research and development efforts, particularly focusing on unsupervised and inverse reinforcement learning.

This is expected to help Swaayatt achieve Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Level 5 autonomy, which represents the highest level of autonomous driving where the vehicle can handle all driving tasks independently.

"Going forward, we will be significantly scaling up our R&D in all frontiers of autonomous driving, specifically pushing the boundaries in unsupervised and (inverse-) reinforcement learning to showcase our sustainably scalable Level-5 autonomous driving technology architecture," Sharma added.

What does Swaayatt Robots do?

Founded by Sanjeev Sharma in 2015, Swaayatt Robots has developed advanced algorithms and AI models aimed at navigating the chaotic and complex traffic conditions typical of Indian roads. 

Notably, the startup has demonstrated Level 5 autonomy capabilities, where vehicles can operate without any human intervention. The startup's technology includes impressive feats such as navigating construction sites and making precise 90-degree turns at unmanaged intersections.

The startup has carried out more than 80 demos so far, although it has not yet disclosed its completely autonomous capabilities on public roads.

Aims to solve Level 4 autonomy

Swaayatt Robots plans to solve Level 4 autonomy by the end of the year globally and ultimately reach Level 5 autonomy. To achieve these goals, the startup aims to raise about $1.5 billion. 

In a LinkedIn post, Sharma emphasized that the company will focus on inventing new AI capabilities to address the challenges of autonomous general navigation.

Notably, The startup's technology uses significantly less energy than its competitors, utilizing 80% less energy while maintaining advanced functionalities. 

Sharma said the startup is planning a major demo in August. “If the August demo doesn’t excite Sam Altman and Elon Musk, along with the world, I don’t know what will,” he told AnalysticsIndiaMag.

Capable of dealing with environmental and traffic uncertainties

Swaayatt Robots claims its technology is more capable of dealing with environmental and traffic uncertainties compared to its competitors in Europe, North America, and China.

The startup's algorithmic frameworks enable the vehicles to handle bidirectional traffic on single-lane roads, navigate through tight stochastic dynamic environments, and operate without LiDAR sensors during both day and night.