The programme for early-stage startups in automobile and mobility space — Mobility & Automobile Innovation Lab (MAIL) launched by India’s largest car maker Maruti Suzuki last year, which had picked four startups to “co-create innovative business solutions,” as part of its second cohort, has announced its winners. The selected startups including Dave.AI , Rezo.AI, Fabrik, and ElectreeFi joined the list of five startups that were part of the support programme. At the recently held demo day, Dave.AI won the programme followed by Rezo.AI and Fabrik as runners-up. The three winners will now be able to run a paid Proof-of-Concept of their business model with Maruti Suzuki. Dave.AI is an artificial intelligence-led intelligent sales platform for home furnishing, lighting, sanitaryware market etc. Rezo.AI is another AI platform for customer engagement while Fabrik is a website-building platform.
The programme is part of the company’s strategy to develop ideas along with startups into becoming business for it. “Working with startups, providing them with the platform and co-creating business solutions helps Maruti Suzuki generate new business solutions much faster,” said Kenichi Ayukawa, Managing Director & CEO, Maruti Suzuki India Limited. The latest batch of four startups had received mentorship from the domestic and international startup ecosystem even as the Maruti Suzuki experts helped entrepreneurs achieve the right product-market fit.
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Partnering with startups for their unique ideas and talent has now been a global phenomenon where large corporate and MNCs work and support startups to imbibe their innovation and flexibility into their corporate structures. Corporate accelerators, corporate VCs, venture builders, family offices etc are ways through which large businesses bond with startups. Google, Microsoft, Reliance, SoftBank Group, Samsung, Alibaba, Tencent, Reliance, Times Group, Qualcomm, Intel, Naspers, Target, Flipkart etc., are few of the top conglomerates backing Indian startups in some way or the other.