Active.ai, a Singapore based fintech startup with an innovation lab in Bengaluru, has raised $8.25 million in a Series A funding round co-led by Vertex Ventures, Creditease Holdings and Dream Incubator.
As part of the deal, Vertex managing partner Ben Mathias and Kalaari managing director Vani Kola will join the company’s board of directors while Anju Patwardhan from Creditease will join as a board observer. The board already includes IDG’s Sanat Rao.
Kola added in a statement that the capital will fuel the startup’s continued R&D efforts, as well as its plans for expansion to other countries.
Active.ai is one of the few startups in the region that has developed a customer service chatbot. The latest case being the focus on serving banks and financial institutions. Active.ai’s chatbots are powered by its Artificial Intelligence (AI) engine named Triniti, which reportedly is capable of natural language processing (NLP) and generation.
According to reports, this platform allows banks to respond to queries or complaints sent by customers through messaging apps such as Facebook Messenger and LINE. A Triniti-powered chatbot can then engage in a conversation with those customers to try to solve their queries, thus saving the bank’s time, money, and manpower, and allowing it deploy to deploy its human employees to higher-level tasks.
Vertex managing partner Ben Mathias said, “The threat of fundamental disruption is very real in the financial services space, and companies such as Active.ai are making it easy for incumbents to not just remain relevant, but to get ahead in an ever-evolving market.”
Active.ai’s last funding round was a $3 million investment from Kalaari and IDG about in 2016. The startup was selected to join Microsoft’s India accelerator program earlier this year as well.