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Conversational AI getting chatty

Conversational AI getting chatty
July 8, 2020

The fastest-growing chatbot, Landbot, is shockingly simple and “dumb”. Using an anti-AI strategy, to solve the frustration caused by the existing AI chatbots, the company designed a drag-and-drop style bot-builder that doesn’t require coding to support custom conversation flows. Landbot decided to use a simple “choose your own adventure” approach instead.

There’s something rather elegant about eschewing the complexity and chaos of an AI engine (over)powering customer engagement tools — and just giving businesses user-friendly building blocks to create their own custom chat flows and channel site visitors through a few key flows.

Business Insider reports that the chatbot market is growing 29.7% year-over-year. In less than a year since launching — via Product Hunt — Landbot has signed up more than 900 customers from 50+ countries, and is seeing 30-40% MRR growth MoM. Although they are offering a (branded) freemium version to help stoke the product’s growth, the company also offers paid tiers.

Currently, 39% of all website chats are now done with a chatbot instead of a human. The market is huge and still growing fast. Landbot shows the industry that sometimes low-tech and dumb wins the race. 

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Chatbot Companies:

Nuance is an American multinational computer software technology company, headquartered in Burlington, Massachusetts, on the outskirts of Boston, that provides speech recognition and artificial intelligence. Nuance merged with its competitor in the commercial large-scale speech application business, ScanSoft, in October 2005. ScanSoft was a Xerox spin-off that was bought in 1999 by Visioneer, a hardware and software scanner company, which adopted ScanSoft as the new merged company name. The original ScanSoft had its roots in Kurzweil Computer Products.

The New York-based AI solutions startup, Pypestream, is bringing conversational AI to chatbot. It has signed on customers like Shell, DishNetwork’s Sling TV, and TriWest while tripling its customer base in the past 12 months alone. In 2018, it announced the launch of Design Studio, a new customization tool that sits atop Pypestream‘s proprietary natural language processing (NLP) engine.

Quiq, like others in the space, is setting out to capitalize on this growing push toward messaging in customer service. Quiq offers a platform that makes it easy for businesses to integrate multiple messaging tools into their websites and apps, including SMS, Apple Messages (via Apple Business Chat), Twitter, Facebook Messenger, web chat, Kik, and Google’s RCS-based RBM. Quiq also enables companies to integrate messaging into their own native mobile apps, and it offers a one-way “broadcast” service for disseminating important messages to customers.

Funding & Deal Highlights:

Digital health care learning platform OnlineMedEd raises $5M in a seed round from an undisclosed network of 20 physician investors to expand its educational content beyond medical school walls to more than 60M health care professionals at all levels.

Caffeine raises $113M to invest in new forms of entertainment that users can watch and engage with in real time. The aim is to differentiate its programming from industry leaders Twitch and YouTube.

Anduril Industries Inc., a Southern California startup that builds technology for military agencies and border surveillance, says it has raised a new funding round nearly doubling the company’s valuation to $1.9B.

Mission Therapeutics, a Cambridge, England-based drug discovery and development company focused on selectively inhibiting deubiquitylating enzymes (DUBs), raises $15M (£12M) in equity funding.

Data Dynamics, Inc. (“Data Dynamics”), a leader in unstructured data management, closes on a $9M financing round to support its strong product traction and market adoption. It is trusted and deployed in over 25% of the Fortune 100, helping drive hundreds of millions of dollars in cost savings and risk mitigation. The company’s Unified Unstructured Data Management Platform, comprised of the award-winning StorageX and the new, cutting-edge Insight AnalytiX product offerings, provides customers a single, comprehensive platform to modernize, manage, and secure their data.

Instacart raises another $100M in funding, giving the company a $13.8B valuation.

Estonian startup Veriff, provider of an identity protection platform, raises $15.5M to fuel global growth and sell to more enterprise customers, as the company prepares for an even larger Series B round in the future. Investors include previous backers Y Combinator and Mosaic Ventures as well as new ones, such NordicNinja VC and Change Ventures.

Wound care company MiMedx raises $150M in private equity and debt financing from EW Healthcare Partners and Hayfin Capital Management. The funds will be used to scale commercialization of the company’s amniotic tissue products.

Since last week, PrivCo has added:
808 Profiles Updates | 113 M&A Deals144 Funding Activities
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