Sunil Goyal, CEO and founder of angel fund YourNest, believes that the next Indian unicorn could be a startup dabbling in artificial intelligence (AI) or digital advertising.
“We believe AI is here to change the way machines operate for us. That is going to create disruptions in every sphere of life and we will be going with anybody who has wonderful solutions in that area,” Goyal told Techcircle.in.
AI startups have been getting a lot of investor attention of late. Infinite Analytics Inc, a US-based predictive marketing and analytics company run by India-born founders, recently secured an undisclosed amount of funding from Tata Sons’ chairman emeritus Ratan Tata and other investors. Also, consumer durables giant Samsung and Wipro Ventures have invested in US-based Vicarious, a robotics startup that enables computers to achieve human-level intelligence.
Digital advertisement is another big area of opportunity for startup investments as this space is plagued by ‘$59 billion of leakages’.
“We will assure these digital advertising companies that there is real customer, real audience and real engagement while you are paying for advertisements. These are game changing theories we are looking for…,” said Goyal.
YourNest is an angel fund operating with a corpus of Rs 90 crore ($13.5 million). While the company has deployed under 50 per cent of the fund till date, it plans to exhaust the corpus by investing in 5-6 companies over the next nine months, he added. US-based Northgate Capital recently came in as an investor and co-sponsor in YourNest. With this, YourNest hopes to participate in Series B type of funding efforts.
One of YourNest’s portfolio companies Zipdial was acquired by microblogging giant Twitter earlier this year. Another portfolio firm BookMyCab was acquired by Paytm-backed Jugnoo recently.