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Indian language startup Devnagri raises $600K in series seed round

Devnagari, an Indian Language Translation Engine with a focus on B2B, has raised $600,000 in seed round funding from Venture Catalyst and Inflection Point Ventures in participation from other co-investors.

Led by Dr. Apoorva Ranjan Sharma, the seed funding round will be utilized to strengthen its technology and scale its operations to help B2B sectors create more vernacular language content for end-users. 

Co-investors that participated in the funding included Mitesh Shah (IPV-First Port Capital), Rohit Chanana (Sarcha Advisors), Nimesh Kampani (Trica), Sameer Karulkar (Coverpage Ventures Advisory LLP), Prashant Sharma (Facebook, Country Lead – Video), Karan Bhagi (HUL, GM – eCommerce) & Deepak Sharma (CDO – Kotak Bank).

Founded by Nakul Kundra and Himanshu Sharma, Devnagri was launched with a vision to make the internet accessible to 90% of Indians and solve the problem of “lack of content in Indian Languages” using tech. 

The platform combines Neural Machine Translation with machine learning and a community to power translations. Its AI-human combination can help businesses scale their operations anytime, in any language with up to 50% reduced cost, real-time delivery tracking with 80% reduction in translation time, and 5x faster than professional translation.

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“With the latest infusion of funds, the company intends to increase its accuracy in Machine Translation and scale its operations to target businesses in sectors like E-commerce, BFSI, and publishers who depend on vernacular growth,” the statement said.

Commenting on the fundraise, Nakul Kundra, Founder of Devnagri said, “There is a strong need for content in Indian Languages to be available over the internet, which helps the Indians to use technology (be it Entertainment, News, Education, Movies, etc.) in their respective language. With our current round of funding, we intend to scale our operations to tap B2B customers and enable them to create more local (Indian Language) content to reach end-users from Tier II & Tier III cities.”

“Today, India has a digital ecosystem that includes close to a billion people and is being created at a scale unparalleled anywhere else in the world. We are in need to reach the last mile / last consumer of the internet in their language so that they can harness its power,” Himanshu Sharma, Co-founder of Devnagari added.

Commenting on the development, Dr. Apoorva Ranjan Sharma, President & Co-founder of Venture Catalysts, said, “The Indian vernacular language & translation market size is worth $53Billion, which currently features Ed-Tech, E-Commerce, Publishing and OTT Industries. With 100 Cr Indians from Tier II & Tier III cities expected to join the internet (Because of affordable smartphones & data), the content availability in Indian languages is only 0.1% and less than 10% of Indians are conversant in English.”

“Devnagri is confident in plugging this huge gap using machine translation. As one of the leading startups in the NLP Industry of India, the company is aligned with Digital India and Atma Nirbhar Bharat’s vision to enable the Internet in Indian Languages. They are showing immense exponential growth and we wish them success in their journey,” Sharma added.

Further speaking on the funding in Devanagari, Mitesh Shah, Co-Founder of Inflection Point Ventures added, “Indian languages are missing from the internet. In the last 10 years, many websites have started providing multilingual options for non-English users but it is still not enough. Devnagri has developed a model, which can scale the efforts to put Indian languages on the Internet map. Their application of ML and Neural machine translation will help companies use contextualized translation. We believe this would be a game-changer in Indic languages on the internet with relevant use cases.”

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