Bengaluru-based Niki.ai, an artificial intelligence-based personal assistant that makes online shopping experience unique, has raised $2 million in Series-A round led by SAP.iO and existing investor Unilazer Ventures.
The other investors who participated in fundraising were Haresh Chawla of True North, Arihant Patni, managing director at Hive Technologies; along with some US and German investors.
According to the company, the infused fund will be used in building technology – machine learning capabilities, voice and multilingual functionalities – and expanding distribution network.
The platform supports more than 20 categories such as entertainment, travel and daily utilities and has partnered with companies, including BookMyShow, Redbus, OYO, Ola, Uber and JustRechargeIt.
Speaking on the occasion, Sachin Jaiswal, CEO, Niki.ai said, “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.”
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.
This is the first time SAP.iO, early-stage software startups fund of German software company SAP has invested in India.
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.”
Currently, it has 32 members team.
Niki aims to become gateway for commerce globally. At present, the startup claims to have more than 50 partnerships. Niki has been growing more than 100 percent M-o-M in 2017. 35-40 percent of the orders are repeat customers.
Niki.ai had raised its first investment from Ratan Tata and Ronnie Screwvala’s Unilazer in May 2016.
Founded in April 2015, the startup leverages natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning to converse with customers over a simple chat interface, and places orders on their behalf with partner businesses.
It offers bill payments, cab booking, recharge, food ordering, home services, cricket scores with some other services in the pipeline such as laundry and bus bookings. The company aims to train its engine to interpret Indian languages, starting with Hindi.