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IISc-backed ARTPARK to launch $100 million venture fund to invest in AI, robotics startups

Mumbai: AI & Robotics Technology Park (ARTPARK) promoted by Indian Institute of Science (IISc) – Bengaluru said it is in the process of launching a $100 million venture fund.

ARTPARK has sought approval from the Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBI) to launch the fund.

The CEO of ARTPARK, Umakant Soni, told ET in an interview that the venture fund is expected to be launched formally by the end of this month based on SEBI approval, and deployment of funds will probably begin by May or June.

“We have some soft commitments, from not only investors within India, but from overseas as well to invest in the fund,” Soni said.

Soni said the venture fund size of investments will be in the range of $1 million to $3 million and the time horizon for investment would be 10-12 years.

“The fund is primarily looking to invest in start-ups based on AI and Machine Learning, which are into healthcare, education and mobility.

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ARTPARK is already working with AI and robotics startups such as XraySetu – an AI-driven X-ray screening and interpretation platform for doctors; Avtaar Robotics -a virtual healthcare services platform, Bhasha Setu – a language processing startup, Akashmarg – that builds autonomous drones and Project Eklavya- remote learning school.

ARTPARK was launched on Monday at IISc campus in Bengaluru. The not-for-profit company, promoted by IISc and supported by AI-foundry, is seed-funded by Department of Science and Technology (DST) and Karnataka government to the tune of 230 crore ($32 million) to help translate cutting edge research into solutions that can impact society.

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