In what appears to be Reliance Jio broad scheme of plans to counter Amazon Alexa and Google Home in India, the Mukesh Ambani-led firm is planning to acquire conversational AI chatbot firm Haptik in over Rs 200 crore deal.
Both the firms, Reliance Jio and Haptik founders Aakrit Vaish and Swapan Rajdev have signed the board resolution and Business Transfer Agreement in February, according to Inc42 report.
The transaction for the acquisition is expected to be completed in the next few days. This is the fifth acquisition by Reliance this year. Meanwhile, it’s in the process to overtake controlling stakes in Reveries, EasyGov, and Sankhya Sutra Lab.
For ramping up its mega e-commerce launch, the firm is also acquiring Google-backed Fynd. Entrackr had exclusively reported about the ongoing deal in the second week of this month.
Six years old chatbot maker, founded by Vaish and Rajdev, provides a blend of artificial intelligence, natural language processing and machine learning for its conversational chat platform. It helps users with tasks such as paying bills and booking cabs.
Few years after its inception, Haptik started engaging with enterprises and launched the enterprise tool kit to allow businesses to deploy chatbots to automate customer support. The firm claims to build over 100 chatbots across e-commerce, utility, and telecom for key interaction points such as support, feedback, engagement, and lead generation.
Haptik has worked with brands including Samsung, Coca-cola, Future Group and OYO among many. It also has a presence in international markets including the US and UK.
So far, Haptik has raised a total of $12.2M in funding. The last investment it raised was from Times Internet, $11.2 million, in April 2016. In FY18, Haptik reported revenue of Rs 4.58 Crores, which was 189 percent more than its previous year figure. However, its losses climbed to Rs 22.54 crore.
Questions sent to Haptik by Entrackr in regard to details of the deal is yet to elicit a response.
Meanwhile, Jio, through the deal, plans to enhance its digital initiatives including digital consumer platforms with multilingual capabilities. Over the past couple of years, it has been working to create an ecosystem of virtual assistant products to counter global players such as Amazon and Google products.
With all the aforementioned firms in its kitty, Jio might be a formidable force against its competitors.
Both Amazon and Google are aggressively working on regional language skills of its products. Jeff Bezos-led firm has hired over 40 thousand developers to build Alexa regional language skills whereas Google is planning to offer services in seven more languages.