In a whirlwind entrance into the tech world, 16-year-old Indian prodigy Pranjali Awasthi has made waves with her AI startup, Delv.AI. During the Miami Tech Week event, Awasthi unveiled her brainchild, disclosing that she established the company in January 2022 and successfully secured approximately $450,000 (Rs 3.7 crore) in funding. Notably, Delv.AI’s LinkedIn profile already boasts a team of 10 dedicated professionals. During the event, Awasthi attributed her entrepreneurial journey’s primary inspiration to her father
Awasthi’s fascination with technology ignited at an early age, fuelled by her engineer father’s passion for promoting computer science education in schools. This encouragement prompted her to embark on her coding journey at the tender age of seven, laying the groundwork for her extraordinary trajectory. When her family relocated to Florida when she was 11, new opportunities unfolded, granting her access to computer science classes and competitive math programs. However, it was her internship at the research labs of Florida International University at the age of 13 that set the stage for her entrepreneurial adventure.
During this internship, Awasthi delved into machine learning projects while attending virtual high school, a result of the ongoing pandemic. It was during this period that OpenAI released ChatGPT-3 beta, sparking the idea to streamline research data extraction and summarisation using AI. Delv.AI was conceived during this time, with Awasthi’s mission being to leverage machine learning to enhance data extraction processes and dismantle data silos.
A significant milestone in her journey occurred when she joined an AI startup accelerator in Miami, led by Lucy Guo and Dave Fontenot of Backend Capital. Awasthi’s acceptance into the program signified her unwavering commitment to pursuing her dreams, even if it meant temporarily putting her high school education on hold. She revealed that the beta launch of Delv.AI on Product Hunt garnered exceptional success. For those unfamiliar, Product Hunt is a platform that facilitates the sharing of software for free.
Awasthi explains that Delv.AI’s primary objective is to aid researchers in efficiently accessing specific information within the ever-expanding realm of online content. The accelerator program played a pivotal role in helping Awasthi secure investments from On Deck and Village Global. In total, Delv.AI raised $450,000 (approximately Rs 3.7 crore) in funding and currently boasts an approximate valuation of $12 million (Rs 100 crore).
While education remains a fundamental value in the eyes of Awasthi’s Indian parents, she has chosen to defer her college plans for the time being, prioritising her responsibilities and unwavering passion for her company. Awasthi envisions returning to higher education in the future to acquire business skills that will benefit her entrepreneurial journey. At the helm of a small yet dynamic team, Awasthi oversees various facets of Delv.AI, from coding to operations and customer service.
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