With the COVID-19 pandemic paralyzing global economy, traditional businesses — be it large or small — seem to have borne most of the economic brunt. And that has further stressed upon the need to integrate tech even deeply into businesses. This notion hold even more critical importance hyperlocal businesses.

Singapore-based Nextbillionai, an enterprise AI solution for hyperlocal businesses, seems to have entered the market at just the right time, and has hence grabbed a $7M check for its Series A round. The startup, founded during the crisis in early 2020, saw its Series A round co-led by Lightspeed Venture Partners and Falcon Edge Capital.

Co-Founded by Ajay Bulusu, Gaurav Bubna and Shaolin Zheng, Nextbillionai aims to be the global leader in AI-powered hyperlocal solutions. Areas such as mapping, NLP, content moderation and facial-recognition related challenges multiply with hyperlocal nuances peculiar to emerging markets, rendering solutions made for the developed world rather inefficient for over a billion users. Nextbillionai aims to serve these unserved/underserved next billion users, starting with comprehensive and innovative mapping solutions.

“We see opportunity in building an inclusive world offering equal access to technology solutions in the most intelligent, secured and affordable manner,” added Gaurav Bubna, Co-founder, Nextbillionai

The company, which has a presence in India, China and Singapore, is looking to tap a largely unexplored market of helping companies market their product to the next “billion”. And India and China, with their 2.5Bn combined population and large untapped market, present just the right opportunity. Additionally, Singapore serves as a major tech hub.

In terms of its current offerings, the company offers ‘nextbillionmaps’, an AI-based mapping solution providing customisable features such as routing and navigation, matrix calculation, map data curation among others. Then there is the ‘nextbilliontasks’ where AI is used for seamless decoding of data to simplify the multi-lingual texts, image classification, sentiment analysis and video annotations.