The Bengaluru – based AI startup, Niki.ai, which runs an artificial intelligence – powered personal assistant, has secured an investment of US $2 million in Series A round of funding from the San Francisco – based VC firm, SAP.iO and its existing investor, Unilazer Ventures. The other VC firms that participated in this round of funding include True North, Arihant Patni and some US and Germany – based angel investors. Read more on Investments
SAP.iO is the investment arm of the software giant SAP. It was launched during March, this year (2017) with an investment of US $35 million. The investment arm of the company aims to make seed investments in a number of software – based startups in an effort to expand SAP’s ecosystem.
“Niki.ai will use the capital to strengthen its machine-learning capabilities, build voice and multilingual functionalities and expand its distribution network”, Sachin Jaiswal, CEO of Niki.ai said in a statement.
Niki.ai was founded in April 2015 by four IIT Kharagpur alumni, namely Jaiswal, Keshav Pravasi, Nitin Babel and Shishir Modi. It provides shoppers with a conversational interface to shop for products and services. Niki.ai currently gives suggestions to shoppers on 20 categories including entertainment, travel and daily utilities. Niki, its bot, uses natural language processing and machine – learning technologies to converse with customers over a simple chat interface and places their orders with partner businesses like BookMyShow, BigBazaar, Grofers, Redbus, OYO, Ola and Uber. Niki.ai works on a channel partnership model and generates revenue for every order placed on its platform. The startup is collaborating with various firms in different domains to sell them its chat bot. The startup claims to witness around 35% growth in revenue every month.
Ram Jambunathan, MD at SAP.iO said, “We believe Niki.ai has an innovative technical approach and is building a scalable product that can change the commerce industry. There is a huge opportunity globally, yet to be captured”.
The field of Artificial Intelligence (AI) is gaining popularity and importance these days. Quite a few AI startups had got funded this year so far. They include the AI startup, Boxx.ai which raised US $500,000 (Rs. 3.2 crores) in Seed round of funding from the Mumbai – based VC firm, Unicorn India Ventures during June, this year (2017). The AI startup, Innefu Labs raised US $2 million (Rs. 12 crores) in Series A round of funding from the VC firm, IndiaNivesh during April this year. The AI startup, Botworx.Ai raised US $3 million in Series A round of funding from the VC firm, Costa Nuova Ventures and SV Angel Investors during February, this year (2017) just to name a few. Read more on Startup News
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