20 May 2016, NEW DELHI: Artificial intelligence (AI) based chatbot, niki.ai raised funds from Ratan Tata and Ronnie Screwvala-led Unilazer for an undisclosed value, the company said on Thursday.
Prior to this investment, Ratan Tata had recently invested on US – based healthcare start-up, MUrgency. Ratan Tata had also invested in various other companies like Tracxn Technologies, Dogspot.in, Snapdeal, Ola, Zivame and PayTm.
Commenting on raising funds, the CEO of niki.ai, Sachin Jaiswal said, ““It’s a proud moment for the company to have an investment from Mr. Tata and for Unilazer to do a follow on round. The vision with Niki is to be the enabler for everything commerce, across platforms whether Android, iOs, Messaging or otherwise. With the continued support from our investors, Unilazer, we now want to expand aggressively across categories and facilitate more consumer delight”.
niki.ai was founded in April 2015 by four IIT Kharagpur Alumni – Sachin Jaiswal, Keshav Prawasi, Nitin Babel and Shishir Modi. Niki.ai now has 21 members. Niki as a product has gone beyond search having built a stateful dialog manager, which remembers the context of the conversation to engage in a two way dialog with the user, thus helping them get things done.
At Present, Niki chatbot offers bill payments, cab booking, recharge, food ordering, home services, cricket scores, among others in pipeline. To enable these services, the company has partnered with more than 25 brands.
Globally, chatbots have been much talked about in the recent weeks, with worlds largets social networking site, Facebook opening its Messenger platform for developers during the F8 conference. Various companies like Microsoft , Slack, Telegram and Kik have also opened their platforms to develop chatbots.