By Jack Ellis for Tech in Asia
Active.ai has raised US$8.25 million in a series A round co-led by Vertex Ventures, CreditEase, and Dream Incubator, it announced today.
Existing investors IDG Ventures India and Kalaari Capital also participated in the funding.
Vani Kola, managing director at Kalaari Capital and a board member at Active.ai, said in a statement that the capital will fuel the startup’s continued R&D efforts, as well as its plans for expansion to other countries.
Active.ai co-founder and CEO Ravi Shankar added that the investment will also be used to grow the company’s technical team.
Headquartered in Singapore with an R&D base in Bengaluru, Active.ai is one of a large number of startups in the region that has developed a customer service chatbot.
In its case, the focus is on serving banks and financial institutions. Active.ai’s chatbots are powered by its artificial intelligence (AI) engine named Triniti, which is capable of natural language processing and generation.
The platform allows banks to respond to queries or complaints sent by customers through messaging apps such as Facebook Messenger and Line. A Triniti-powered chatbot can then engage in a conversation with those customers to try to solve their queries – saving the bank time, money, and manpower, and allowing it deploy its human employees to higher-level tasks.
Beyond chatbots, the startup is also aiming to apply its AI engine to channels such as voice calls, text messaging, and virtual reality, so that banks can automate more of their customer-facing operations.