Exfinity Ventures leads pre-Series A round in AI startup Absentia
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Bangalore-based artificial intelligence and virtual reality technology startup Absentia Virtual Reality Pvt. Ltd has raised $1.23 million (Rs 8 crore) in a pre-Series A funding round led by venture capital firm Exfinity Venture Partners LLP.

Absentia is developing an AI engine, Norah AI, which aims to create AAA games with minimal human intervention. The platform will offer game developers in-built tools to design, develop and build interactive content.

The startup says that Norah can create a new set of interactive content, such as arcade games, casual games, puzzles, animation and graphics, with just a few lines of text or pictorial input.

R&D trials of the product are being carried out in California, New York and Stockholm, and it is expected to roll out by mid-2017.

“With Norah AI, we are aiming to become the world’s first auto content-generation company with a focus on media and entertainment segment,” said Shubham Mishra, CEO and co-founder of Absentia. He added that, over the past few months, the company has monetised the platform in the areas of virtual reality, augmented reality and image processing across industries.

The startup was founded in 2014 by Mishra, Vrushali Prasade and Harikrishna Valiyath – all dropouts of BITS Pilani, Goa. The team had earlier developed a virtual reality head mount device called Tesseract.

Absentia had raised $180,000 in seed funding led by Astarc Ventures in November 2015. GE Capital veteran Vish Satthapan, angel investors Sameer Sainani, Rajeev Krishnan, Abhishek Jain and Nagaraj Magadum, besides Hyderabad-based seed fund 50K Ventures had also put in money in that round.

Exfinity Ventures

Exfinity, led by IT industry bigwigs V Balakrishnan, Mohandas Pai, Deepak Ghaisas and Girish Paranjpe, invests in technology-led product startups through Exfinity Technology Fund – Series I, which has a corpus of Rs 125 crore. In August, Balakrishnan had told VCCircle that the firm would register its global offshore fund in Singapore and will revise the target corpus.

Some of Exfinity’s recent investments include B2B marketing automation firm MarianaIQ, online fitness discovery platform Fitternity, Chennai-based computer vision and artificial intelligence company, Mad Street Den and logistics management platform Locus.

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