Enterprise AI startup Nextbillion.ai raises USD 7M in Series A investment lead by Lightspeed Venture Partners in Singapore.
NextBillion.ai, completes its Series A investment co-led by US venture capital firm Lightspeed Venture Partners and Falcon Edge Capital. The completion of this round brings the total of NextBillion.ai Series A sum raised to USD 7 million.
The startup was co-founded earlier this year by former tech entrepreneurs from Grab, Gaurav Bubna, Ajay Bulusu, and Shaolin Zheng who claim they developed Grab Maps, along with its routing, pricing and ETA features among others. The NextBillion.ai team says it also onboarded software engineers formerly from top-tier Chinese multinationals, such as Alibaba, Tencent, and ByteDance.
Commenting on the investment Lightspeed Venture Partner Hemant Mohapatra says the opportunity in solving hyperlocal challenges is huge, and mapping is just one of them.
“We are excited by the prospect of partnering with NextBillion as they build a range of turnkey enterprise solutions around Maps, Facial-AI and Natural Language Processing to address the needs of consumers both in emerging and developed markets,” says Mohapatra.
According to the founders, the startup is already experiencing rapid growth in Singapore, China and India, as NextBillion.ai says it aims to build intuitive and intelligent AI-led solutions customized to each business, and they will utilise the capital to grow its team, product and R&D in future focus areas.
Commenting on their Series A financing, NextBillion.ai Chief Technology Officer Shaolin Zheng, whom is a two-time entrepreneur based in Beijing, says there are plenty of opportunities on the horizon for what they plan on bringing to market.
“From mapping to natural language processing, content moderation, facial-recognition and cybersecurity related challenges, our AI solutions are aligned with hyperlocal nuances in both emerging markets and developed markets, which is ideal for companies who wish to expand on a global level. We see great opportunities in China and the potential to support more and more businesses with NextBillion AI solutions for their expansion into emerging markets in the Southeast Asian, Middle Eastern, North African and Indian region,” says Zheng.
Currently, Nextbillionmaps is the first product of NextBillion.ai, which is an AI maps SaaS Platform that provides enterprises with a range of API, such as routing, navigation, direction and distance matrix. Zheng claims its a first for the mapping world, as Nextbillionmaps claims to provide highly specialized AI tooling capabilities that support map data curation and maintenance.
Falcon Edge Capital Partner Navorz Udwadia agrees.
“NextBillion.ai 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” says Udwadia.
In addition to Lightspeed Venture Partners and Falcon Edge Capital, NextBillion.ai claims to be supported by angel investors including Nishant Rao, ex-COO of Freshworks, Prashant Malik, Founder of Cassandra, Anand Chandrasekeran and Ashwini Asokan, Founders of Mad Street Den.
Commenting on the latest investment round, NextBillion.ai Co-Founder Gaurav Bubna says the company is looking to expand into multiple verticals across most regions.
“Emerging markets across the world are far more complex, with different languages, cultures, hyperlocal nuances and densely populated cities, than the developed markets. With our first product – nextbillionmaps, we are building an intuitive and intelligent location AI-platform by using open-source data combined with proprietary client data, that makes logistics, transport, ride-hailing, delivery, e-commerce solutions accessible, effective, efficient and affordable. We intend to expand into multiple verticals by delivering world-class AI-powered solutions to our customers,” says Bubna.