Artificial Intelligence based chatbot Niki.ai’s forecast for FY18 revenue has fallen short by a huge margin. While the company projected to have over 400 per cent jump in revenue in FY18, RoC filings by the company revealed otherwise.
The company has recorded a revenue of Rs 69.61 lakhs, a mere 2.1X jump from Rs 32.41 lakhs. Since Niki.ai has earned Rs 15.7 lakh revenue in form of interest, the operational revenue (commission plus the sale of service) stood at Rs 47.2 lakh in FY18 for the company.
Meanwhile, the net loss for the Unilazer-backed company increased by 75 per cent to Rs 6.17 crore in the last fiscal from Rs 3.51 crore in FY17.
Niki.ai enables users to book flight tickets, hotels, cabs and execute several tasks such as utility bill payments on both chat and voice interface. It also lets businesses to plug their apps to provide transactional services through automated chatbots.
On the overall expense front, the company witnessed an 80 percent increase to Rs 6.92 crore from Rs 3.84 crore in FY17. Employee benefit incurred the largest expense of Rs 2.52 crore. While burn on promotion amounted to Rs 2.1 crore.
The promotional expense recorded 3.7X jump in the last fiscal as compared with FY17. If we factor in the operating revenue and expenses of Niki.ai, it spent over Rs 14 to make a rupee.
Currently, the firm claims a user base of over three million customers and 60 partners including Cleartrip, Oyo, redBus and BookMyShow among many others.
Recently, an ET report suggested that Niki.ai has turned profitable from October 2018 onwards, and has hit an annual GMV run rate of Rs 200 crore. While the claim could be true, Niki.ai has to control losses and increase revenue by multifold for living up to above projection.
Update: Following our story, Sachin Jaiswal CEO of Niki.ai has reached out to us with below statement.
“Niki.AI is ASIA’s only commerce bot to attain the scale it has besides turning profitable on every transaction recently. We have been consistently recognised for our technology platform and value to people of India by reputable organisations across the globe. We are in the hyper growth phase with the launch of voice and vernacular service and witnessing the adoption of our platform by people of India in tier 2/tier 3 towns who are still under served with limitations of language and literacy. We are moving on the path to become a successful and profitable product.”