Swaayatt Robots Nets $4 Mn Funding To Build Autonomous Cars

SUMMARY

Without naming the name of the US-based investors, Swaayatt Robots founder Sanjeev Sharma said the startup was valued at $151 Mn

The fundraise was part of a larger funding round and the remaining amount would be raised at a valuation of about $175 Mn

Bhopal-based Swaayatt has built proprietary algorithms and claims to have unparalleled capabilities in autonomous navigation, including on the typically chaotic Indian roads

Autonomous driving startup Swaayatt Robots has bagged $4 Mn as part of its second funding round. The startup’s founder Sanjeev Sharma took to LinkedIn to announce that unnamed US-based investors infused the fresh capital in a round that valued the startup at around $151 Mn.  

He said that the fundraise was a part of a larger round which would see the Bhopal-based startup raise the remainder of the funds at a valuation of about $175 Mn. 

Sharma reportedly expects to raise $50 Mn more in a pre-Series A round within a time span of 6-7 months. According to a report by Analytics Drift, Swaayatt is looking to expand operations in North America, the UK, and the Middle East.

“Going forward we will be significantly scaling up our R&D (research and development) 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,” the founder’s post read. 

Founded by Sharma in 2015, Bhopal-based Swaayatt has built proprietary algorithms and claims to have unparalleled capabilities in autonomous navigation, including on the typically chaotic Indian roads. 

Prior to this, the Bhopal-based startup raised $3 Mn from an undisclosed US-based investor in 2021. As of now, the startup has showcased over 80 demonstrations of human-less driving vehicles. 

As per the Society of Automotive Engineers International, autonomous driving is categorised into six levels, ranging from Level 0 to Level 5. Swaayatt is aiming to attain Level 5 autonomous driving, but it is yet to publicly showcase the full capabilities it is trying to build.

In its bootstrapped phase, Sharma invested INR 80 Lakh into the startup. The founder claims that Swaayatt was able to establish a pioneering position in artificial intelligence and autonomous driving. 

“Throughout the self-funded phase (2016 – 2021) we demonstrated our robust perception algorithmic frameworks, extending capabilities beyond what was imaginable at that time including pioneering LiDAR-less perception and ensuring night operations as well,” his post read.

Although the idea of driverless cars is yet to become a reality in terms of production, reports project the space to become a $300 Bn-$400 Bn revenue opportunity by 2035. 

Besides Swaayatt, multiple Indian startups like Minus Zero and Flux Auto are also working on similar offerings. However, Sharma claims that what sets Swaayatt apart is the L5 AV technology capability which has been demonstrated and consumes 80% less energy than that of others. 

The fundraise comes at a time when the broader funding trend has been muted in recent times. For instance, startup funding fell over 55% week-on-week to $97.3 Mn during June 3-8. Indian startups bagged the funds across 10 deals, less than a third of the 31 deals that materialised in the week prior. 

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