Hyderabad: Customer support software-maker Freshdesk Inc., one of India’s most well-funded product start-ups, on Tuesday said it acquired Bengaluru-based chat-bot firm Chatimity to augment its product offerings.
Chatimity is the sixth in a series of small companies Freshdesk has acquired and the second in the chat space. In December last year, Freshdesk acquired Konotor, which helped businesses chat with their consumers within apps.
Freshdesk acquired Airwoot, a social customer support platform in April; Framebench, a file collaboration platform in February; Frilp, a social recommendation app in October; and 1CLICK.io, a video chat platform in August.
“Chat will play an important role in the future of communication for customer service but scaling that infrastructure continues to be a challenge. With their focus on artificial intelligence and chatbots, the Chatimity team, now part of Freshdesk, has already started to create a scalable customer engagement chat platform that is future ready,” Girish Mathrubootham, Freshdesk chief executive, said in a statement.
Scaling quality customer support along with a rapidly expanding user base is a challenge that most internet-based firms face. With Chatimity’s bot, MITI, which can be used to converse with thousands of users in real time, Freshdesk hopes to help companies solve this problem.
Although bots have been around for a while in one form or the another, advances in artificial intelligence and natural language processing have made chat bots—bots that can emulate human conversations—more accessible and popular than ever, with several companies such as Facebook and Slack opening up their platforms for chat-bot builders.
“Our team was able to get a glimpse of what Freshdesk was already working on and we immediately knew that our team and technology would complement and accelerate product development there,” said Chatimity CEO Tarkeshwar Thakur.
Freshdesk, which has so far raised $95 million from venture capital firms Accel Partners, Google Capital and Tiger Global Management LLC, has 50,000 customers globally, and competes with Helpshift, and global heavyweights ZenDesk and Salesforce.com. The company is based in San Bruno, California, with offices in London, Sydney and Chennai.