#Asia Chatbot is the new app: Ratan Tata invests in AI-based chatbot startup Niki

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It leverages natural language processing and machine learning to converse with the customers over a simple chat interface, and places their orders within seconds with the partner businesses

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Ratan Tata, Chairman Emeritus of Tata Sons, has invested an undisclosed amount in Niki.ai, an artificial intelligence (AI)-based chatbot that will guide you, along with recommendations, to reach the right service and then goes the last mile to make that transaction for you.

Existing investor Ronnie Screwvala’s Unilazer Ventures also invested in the round.

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Niki.ai was founded in 2015 by four IIT Kharagpur graduates — Shishir Modi, Sachin Jaiswal, Keshav Prawasi and Nitin Babel. The startup leverages the technology of natural language processing and machine learning to converse with the customers over a simple chat interface, and places their orders within seconds with the partner businesses.

Niki as a product has gone beyond search having built a dialogue manager, which remembers the context of the conversation to engage in a two-way dialog with the user, thus helping them get things done.

Currently, Niki chatbot offers bill payments, cab booking, recharge, food ordering, home services, cricket scores with many more in pipeline. To enable these services, it has partnered with 25-plus brands. The company has grown to a user base of 40,000 spread pan-India.

Also Read: Niki recommends you the best local service and fulfills it too

The startup works on a channel partnership model and generates revenue for every order processed on its platform. It is now, also working with brands to provide them chatbots for their use case and application.

CEO Jaiswal said: “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.”

Globally, chatbots have been much talked about in the recent weeks, with Facebook opening its Messenger platform for developers during the F8 conference. Microsoft, Slack, Telegram, Kik – all have opened their platforms to develop chatbots. It’s considered the next leap in innovation as we move towards “bots as the new apps”.

Also Read: Indian AI startup Arya.ai raises US$750K from YourNest, VentureNursery

Google too announced their own chat App Allo powered by machine learning capabilities being considered as their answer to Amazon’s Echo.

The post Chatbot is the new app: Ratan Tata invests in AI-based chatbot startup Niki appeared first on e27.

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