Active.ai raises $3 million from Kalaari Capital and IDG Ventures

Active.ai will use the fresh funds to improve the technology behind its platform and focus on getting more customers in Asia and north America


Active.ai is registered in Singapore and had raised $500,000 from Kstart, a start-up accelerator run by Kalaari Capital in May. Photo: iStockphoto
Active.ai is registered in Singapore and had raised $500,000 from Kstart, a start-up accelerator run by Kalaari Capital in May. Photo: iStockphoto

Bengaluru: Active.ai, run by Active Intelligence Pvt. Ltd, which offers a platform that has chatbots for large banks to interact with their customers, on Monday said it has raised $3 million in funding from venture capital firms Kalaari Capital and IDG Ventures India.

Active.ai, which was founded in 2016 and has 22 employees now, is registered in Singapore and had raised $500,000 from Kstart, a start-up accelerator run by Kalaari Capital in May.

It will use the fresh funds to improve the technology behind its platform and focus on getting more customers in Asia and north America. It is looking to expand its offshore development centre in Bengaluru.

Active.ai’s platform could help banks offer services to consumers in the chat format that they are most comfortable in.

The more customers interact with the application, the more the artificial intelligence behind Active.ai’s platform learns about them and offers personalised advice and service, increasing engagement and loyalty of the customers.

The usage ranges from getting the balance in the account to transferring money to friends and paying bills. The bot can be integrated via various channels, including Wechat, LINE, Kakao Talk, Facebook Messenger, Amazon Echo and Siri.

“Unlike a consumer play, where you build a bot for one use case, we are largely business-to-business. Banks need a roadmap, banking-grade technology and really like stability and we have a very strong team with experience in banking technology to provide that,” said Ravi Shankar, chief executive officer, Active.ai.

“Messaging based mobile banking has become a strategic imperative for banks globally to enhance consumer experience and lower customer engagement costs. Active.ai is poised to tap into this large market opportunity with its chat and AI powered mobile customer engagement solution,” said Bala Srinivasa, partner, Kalaari Capital, in a statement.

“The new generation of banking customers are looking for easy, secure and seamless interaction with their financial services provider. IDG Ventures India believes that AI will completely transform the banking industry, and we are very excited to partner with Active.ai to build the world’s largest conversational banking platform,” said Sanat Rao, partner, IDG Ventures, who is on the firm’s board.

In the future, Active.ai will also extend its product to enable commerce via chat and to insurance technology as well, according to chief executive Shankar.

The Indian fin-tech software market is forecast to touch $2.4 billion by 2020 from the current $1.2 billion, according to software industry body Nasscom. As of 4 November, fintech start-ups raised $512 million across 83 deals in 2016, according to data from start-up tracker Tracxn.

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