Pranjali Awasthi, a 16-year-old Indian whiz-kid, has taken the tech world by storm with her AI startup – Delv.AI. During a Miami Tech Week event, Awasthi revealed that she founded her company in January 2022 and has successfully secured funding of around Rs 3.7 crore. Delv.AI’s LinkedIn profile already boasts a team of up to 10 employees. At the event, Awasthi credited her father as the primary source of inspiration for her entrepreneurial journey.
Pranjali’s tech fascination ignited early on, influenced by her engineer father’s advocacy for computer science education in schools. This encouragement led her to start coding at just seven, laying the foundation for her remarkable path. Her family’s relocation to Florida at age 11 provided more opportunities, granting her access to computer science classes and competitive math programs. Yet, it was her internship at Florida International University research labs at 13 that set the stage for her entrepreneurial venture.
During this internship, Pranjali dove into machine learning projects while attending virtual high school due to the pandemic. It was during this time that OpenAI released ChatGPT-3 beta, sparking her idea to streamline research data extraction and summarization using AI. Delv.AI was conceived during this period, with Pranjali aiming to utilize machine learning to improve data extraction processes and eliminate data silos.
Her journey reached a significant milestone when she joined an AI startup accelerator in Miami, run by Lucy Guo and Dave Fontenot of Backend Capital. Pranjali’s acceptance marked her commitment to pursue her dreams, even if it meant temporarily leaving high school. She revealed that Delv.AI’s beta launch on Product Hunt saw exceptional success. For those who are unaware, Product Hunt is a platform that helps anyone share their software for free.
Awasthi says Delv.AI’s primary goal is to assist researchers in efficiently accessing specific information amidst the growing online content. The accelerator program played a crucial role in helping Pranjali secure investments from On Deck and Village Global. Delv.AI raised $450,000 (around Rs 3.7 crore) in total funding and currently holds an approximate valuation of $12 million.
While education remains essential for Pranjali’s Indian parents, she has decided to postpone college for now, prioritizing her responsibilities and passion for her burgeoning company. Pranjali envisions revisiting higher education in the future to acquire business skills beneficial to her entrepreneurial journey. Leading a small yet dynamic team, Pranjali oversees various aspects of Delv.AI, from coding to operations and customer service.