Google to focus on investing in women-led early-stage startups

Google will focus on investing in women-led early-stage startups through its Rs 75,000 crore India Digitization Fund, a senior company official said on Monday.

The company had launched USD 10 billion — about Rs 75,000 crore as per the prevailing exchange rate at the end of 2020 — to make access to the internet affordable.

Through Google IDF, the company bought a 7.73 per cent stake in Jio for USD 4.5 billion and a 1.2 per cent stake in Bharti Airtel for USD 700 million.

“Moving forward, as part of our IDF investments, we will be targeting support for early-stage companies with a particular focus on women-led startups,” Sanjay Gupta, Country Manager & VP, Google India said at the Google for India event.

The company announced several projects powered by artificial intelligence, including speech technology, voice and video search etc.

“With AI, text content can convert to video in an instant…Translations from English to virtually any language are possible at scale. AI can bring quantum leaps in online security through advanced threat detection,” Gupta said.

The company announced a collaboration with the Bengaluru-based Indian Institute of Science to collect speech data from 773 districts across India to fine-tune its language translation and search technology.

Google announced a grant of USD 1 million to set up India’s first responsible AI center at IIT Madras.

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