Nafiul Khalid | Contributing Writer
On Nov. 29, in an exploration of the transformative potential of artificial intelligence (AI), Pranjali Awasthi, the founder of Delv.AI, shared her journey of building her multi-million dollar AI firm in one year at the age of 16, during the event “Leveraging AI to Build Useful Applications,” hosted by StartUP FIU.
The event at the MARC building, offering a narrative of Awasthi’s entrepreneurial story, from establishing her tech startup to securing seed funding and navigating the dynamic landscape of generative AI. In her presentation, she not only shared key moments of her journey but also mapped the venture concept so the audience could follow the fundamentals and be aware of startup death traps.
“In the late 1990s, the dot-com bubble burst, and the early 1990s saw a significant influx of funds into various startups. This financial momentum led to a notable shift towards AI, with several cryptocurrency and Bitcoin startups pivoting their focus to artificial intelligence,” said Pranjali, addressing the generational transaction and advancement of technology.
Before generative AI, any startup would require massive funding and descriptive planning. In late 2021, artificial intelligence added a new dimension to industrial parameters, from idea generation to project blueprints. People are developing more and more, even non-technical founders are not disadvantaged anymore.
“In late 2021, the initial enthusiasm faded, leading to challenges in funding for startups by 2022. AI emerged as a key catalyst, particularly in conversational AI, with companies like Delv AI focusing on reducing data silos,” said Pranjali.
AI is now everywhere, in every field and every industry. Remarking the wide and fast dissemination of AI, she said, “Basically everyone is integrating some form of AI into pre-existing software. And what we’re also seeing is, well, that’s what I’m just signifying—no code. Like AI is working through that gap more and more where you can code, which had GVT basically. It still loses and needs to be extended, but I think the gap isn’t that big.”
“In the current landscape, the competition extends beyond merely acquiring market space; the focus is on developing high-quality technology. It’s not just about plugging into the TagGVT API to create basic functionalities like a summarizer. The true value lies in delving into the backend and crafting bespoke AI products that contribute meaningfully,” she said before diving into her venture.
The genesis of Delv.AI lies in Awasthi’s vision to revolutionize the accessibility of specific information within the expansive realm of online content, particularly for researchers. The startup has successfully raised $450,000 in funding, propelling the company to an impressive valuation of $12 million with a team of only ten members within one year starting January 2022.
Responding to an audience query during the event, Awasthi emphasized the core mission of Delv.AI’s innovative approach to data extraction, “Delv.AI’s primary objective is to aid researchers in efficiently accessing specific information within the ever-expanding realm of online content.”
Finally addressing the youngsters, and new ventures, she advised and concluded, “Don’t be Afraid to Leave Your Comfort Zone. Living with and building among highly experienced people at the Hacker Fellowship, although exciting, was super out of my comfort zone. But it helped push me forward in great ways.”