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JioGenNext and its 185 Startups Bets In the past nine years, the company made a significant impact through the JioGenNext program; conducted 18 startup mentorship programs, received over 13,670 applications from aspiring entrepreneurs, mentored 177 startups, and helped alumni startups raise USD 545 million in early-stage venture capital.

By Shivani Tiwari

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Reliance Industries Limited's program JioGenNext completed its first decade and so far the program has successfully supported 185 Indian-originated startups in artificial intelligence, health tech & fitness, agritech, edtech, fintech, and enterprise solutions among others through its Market Access Program (MAP) with zero equity, and zero charges.

The program continuously engages start-ups in exploring new market opportunities and potentials to do great with cutting-edge technologies within the Reliance and Jio ecosystem, while offering direct assistance and guidance for their expansion and further growth. The program is focused on promoting young India's entrepreneurial innovations as well as encouraging, supporting, and enabling ventures that solve current societal challenges.

In the past nine years, the company made a significant impact through the JioGenNext program; it has successfully conducted 18 startup mentorship programs, received over 13,670 applications from aspiring entrepreneurs, mentored 177 startups, and helped alumni startups raise USD 545 million in early-stage venture capital. Additionally, 118 alumni startups have raised funding from its program while 73 alumni startups have secured institutional funding. Twenty-seven alumni startups have been acquired by other companies and more than 55 alumni startups have engaged with Reliance/Jio.

"Chairman and Managing Director, Mukesh D. Ambani, recognized very early on that startups will increasingly become a great powerhouse of talent, technology, and innovation for the country. We have another program Sponsored by the Israel Innovation Authority (IIA), and in partnership with OurCrowd and Yissum, to support the Startup ecosystem," the annual report of 2022-23 of the company reported.

2024 Focus on Generative AI

JioGenNext has significantly invested in generative AI startups across various sectors in 2024 so far. The backed startups are as follows:

Arficus's Medhini, an AI-driven diagnostic tool for healthcare provides accurate diagnoses for various diseases including, Breast Cancer and Tuberculosis, among others. The startup was founded by Sandeep Sinha and Anurag Jain in 2019. Additionally, the startup fetched investment from JioGenNext, Pontaq, and Indus Valley Ventures among others., an AI-based platform for creating background music was founded by Mansoor Rahimat Khan, the Co-Founder and CEO, and Siddharth Bhardwaj Co-founder and CTO in 2021. According to Rahimat Khan's post on LinkedIn, 70 per cent of their user base is global and 96 per cent of their revenues come from global markets.

"We have been building a music creation tool that is AI-powered and helps you create background music for videos, podcast games, etc. In the music space, you have to listen through two minutes of tracks and you have to do it hundreds of times to take what goes along with your content. Searching is the first problem that we are trying to solve and second is the editing side of it," said Shiddarth Bhardwaj.

Dista, AI solutions for managing field operations was founded in 2020 by Shishir Gokhale, Nishant Kumar, and Deepak Garg. The platform provides innovative solutions to empower businesses in making strategic decisions—visualize for geospatial data analysis, strategize for one-click operation management, and operationalize for daily field force planning and management.

"We are trying to maximize the efficiency of field operations be it sales productivity and moving things productivity, improving the quality of service that our enterprise provides to their customers. Whenever an enterprise comes up with a specific problem that might involve location intelligence the platform comes into play and then we provide a solution that the company needs," said Shishir Gokhale.

Expertia AI, an AI-based recruitment software (HRTech sector) was founded in 2021 by ex-IBM researcher Akshay Gugnani and business tycoon Kanishk Shukla in 2021. The platform provides AI-based candidate-sourcing software for enterprises; and automates recruitment processes by managing career pages, generating job descriptions, and sourcing ideal candidates.

HyrGPT, AI for automating chat and video interviews in recruitment(HRTech sector) was founded in June last year by Debi Kar, Sameer Dharap, and Neha Mathur. The platform increases talent acquisition through automated chat and video interviews.

Jhana, AI tools for legal teams was founded in 2022 by Hemanth Bharatha Chakravarthy, Ben Hoffner-Brodsky, and Em McGlone. The platform alleviates the workload of legal teams on paralegals. Jhana is the first Indian startup that is building AI paralegals in the country. It offers various features such as AI-driven legal research, drafting assistance, and reliable citation generation.

Kissan AI, hypervox, a voice-based platform for farmers was founded in March last year by Prateek Desai. The platform serves with AI-generated inputs and knowledge on farming, agri-financing, equipment, harvesting, and sales among other services.

"I started working in the Indian agriculture space with the vision that we want to bring IM applications and the benefit directly into the hands of the farmers," said Prateek Desai.

ContractKen, AI-powered contract analytics for the legal sector was founded in the year of 2021 by Amit Sharma. The platform serves with AI copilot for contracts and helps legal professionals with multiple tasks such as drafting, reviewing, and negotiating contracts efficiently.

"Our mission is to be the world's best AI copilot to help lawyers and other professionals and organizations to amplify their expertise and contracts and legal agreements," said Amit Sharma.

OnFinance's NeoGPT, a Bengaluru-based AI tool for banks and financial institutions was founded by Priyesh Srivastava and Anuj Srivastava in 2022. NeoGPT's on-premise solution serves in research, customer support, and relationship management.

VoiceOwl, an AI-based startup that automates mundane tasks of enterprise communication was founded in October 2023 by Vivek Jain, Ruchika Drabla Keshwani, and Piyush Keshwani. The platform also ensures privacy and security concerns of enterprise businesses.

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