Niki.ai, India’s leading AI start-up recently announced that it has raised $2 M in Series A round of funding from San Francisco based fund SAP.iO and existing investor Ronnie Screwvala’s Unilazer Ventures. It has also received funds from other Indian investors like Haresh Chawla and Arihant Patni, along with some US and German investors.
Speaking on the occasion, Sachin Jaiswal, CEO, Niki.ai said “Niki.ai has been focused on building the product for the past 2 years. We believe we have the capability to disrupt the AI and bot space. Owing to our robust technology, innovative solutions and successful business model, we have managed to win significant investor confidence globally, with our existing investors continuing to back us up strongly. The injection of the new capital will be used in further strengthening our machine learning capabilities, building voice and multilingual functionalities and expanding our distribution network.”
Speaking on the investment, Ronnie Screwvala, Managing Partner, Unilazer Ventures stated “Unicorn is a derived word for what is happening in the new economy eco system for the last decade, but if I were to take that even further – if the Internet, E Comm and Mobile created Unicorns, then AI will create the next “Tricorn”‘s for sure. We are just at the basic level of AI where focus is to Cut Time, Complexity and Costs in every sector and from here we will see exponential innovation, more than we have seen in any sector till date. Niki is uniquely positioned and in less than 2 years we have made progress in multiple spheres and struck diversified relationships with a majority of corporate India. Our Tech and our solutions are ready for a global market too. In the last year I did three follow up rounds with Niki given its track record and the right entrepreneur Founders at the helm. We are just getting started.”
Niki.ai focuses on the vision of making artificial intelligence accessible to everyone, i.e. Businesses and Consumers. For the users, the company is mitigating the hassles by providing a simple and easy to use conversational interface to shop for products and services. Niki supports over 20 categories including entertainment, travel, daily utilities, with partners such as BookMyShow, Redbus, OYO, Ola, Uber, JustRechargeIt to name a few.
For the businesses, Niki.ai has released its Chatbot SDK, which provides brands with a unique opportunity to enable conversational commerce on their platform through a simple integration, and make use of the advanced technology of language processing and machine learning built by Niki.ai.
The SDK acts as a plug and play technology that can be easily integrated in less than an hour of development effort. It is already live across multiple banks, OEMs and wallets, such as HDFC Bank, Intex, Oxigen wallet, Zopo Mobiles (as a widget in its latest series), to name a few. Additionally, 40+ SDK partnerships are going to be live soon.
Sachin further adds “We want to provide consumers with multiple touch points to access Niki. With our SDK being deployed across platforms (Android, iOS, Web, Messaging apps) by banks, OEMs, wallets & startups; we move a step closer to our vision of being ubiquitous. The current fund raise will be utilised to further strengthen our distribution.”
Ram Jambunathan, Managing Director, SAP.iO said “We believe that Niki.ai has an innovative technical approach and is building a scalable product that can change the commerce industry. We are very impressed with how Niki.ai is leveraging AI to help businesses fulfill the needs of consumers. There is a huge opportunity globally, yet to be captured, and the investment will fuel the next level of growth for Niki.ai.”
With data of over 75 million interactions over the past 2 years, the Ratan Tata backed startup is looking to bolster its machine learning engine to better personalise a customer’s purchase experience. To further enhance the convenience for a mobile user, the company is soon going to add the feature of voice communication, which is already being beta tested.
Furthermore, to tap deeper into the Indian market, Niki.ai aims to train its NLP engine to interpret Indian languages, starting with Hindi and then eventually being multilingual.
The team is currently 32 members strong and is based out of Bangalore.