Ac­tive.ai raises $8.25 mn in fund­ing round led by Ver­tex Ven­tures

Mint ST - - DEALS - BY YU­VRAJ MA­LIK yu­vraj.m@livemint.com NEW DELHI

Ac­tive.ai, a start-up that makes Chat­bots for banks, on Tues­day said it raised $8.25 mil­lion in a se­ries A round led by Ver­tex Ven­tures, the ven­ture cap­i­tal arm of Sin­ga­pore’s sov­er­eign fund Te­masek.

Chi­nese fin­tech group Cred­itease and Ja­panese ven­ture cap­i­tal (VC) firm Dream In­cu­ba­tor have also in­vested in the com­pany along with fol­low-on in­vestors Kalaari Cap­i­tal and IDG Ven­ture.

Kalaari and IDG, which had in­vested equally in the com­pany’s $3 mil­lion round last Novem­ber, main­tain their share­hold­ing.

While Ver­tex man­ag­ing part­ner Ben Mathias and Kalaari man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Vani Kola have joined the Ac­tive.ai board, Anju Pat­ward­han from Cred­itease has been ap­pointed board ob­server.

Co-founder and chief ex­ec­u­tive Ravi Shankar said most of the funds would go to­wards tech­nol­ogy de­vel­op­ment and re­search and ex­pan­sion in the North Amer­ica re­gion where the com­pany has re­cently signed some clients.

Ac­tive.ai (Ac­tive In­tel­li­gence Pte. Ltd) was in­cor­po­rated in Fe­bru­ary 2016.

It is head­quar­tered in Sin­ga­pore and has a re­search and de­vel­op­ment lab in Bengaluru.

The start-up em­ploys 65 peo­ple. Its core prod­uct is an Nlp-based (nat­u­ral lan­guage pro­cess­ing) plat­form called Triniti, for banks to au­to­mate cer­tain func­tions, cus­tomer ser­vice as well as trans­ac­tions, be­tween banks and cus­tomers.

The chat plat­form in­te­grates with the bank’s ap­pli­ca­tion and web in­ter­face, and also works on var­i­ous app­based mes­sag­ing ser­vices like Face­book Mes­sen­ger and Wechat.

Cus­tomers use the bot ser­vice to check the lo­ca­tion of the near­est bank branch, send money, or even give in­struc­tions for a se­cu­ri­ties trans­ac­tion.

“We are an omni-chan­nel com­pany. We de­liver our ser­vices over ex­ist­ing apps on An­droid and IOS, about 10 mes­sag­ing ser­vices like Face­book Mes­sen­ger and Wechatwhat­sapp has not yet opened its API (ap­pli­ca­tion pro­gram­ming in­ter­face), we are wait­ing for that. We also do IOT, so we are avail­able on Alexa and Google Home,” Shankar said.

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