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Exclusive: Automated chat solution startup Joe Hukum gets Jabong CTO's backing

20 Sep, 2016

Joe Hukum, which provides automated chat-based solutions to companies, has received commitment for a pre-Series A round of funding, a co-founder of the startup said.

Arihant Jain told TechCircle that the startup got commitment from Jabong's chief technology officer (CTO) Sumit Jain. The Joe Hukum co-founder declined, who is not related to the Jabong executive, declined to disclose the amount committed.

Another co-founder, Ajeet Kushwaha, said the commitment is part of a bigger round Joe Hukum is raising. The startup is looking to raise under $1 million (Rs 6.7 crore) and is in talks with a few institutional funds and angel investors, Kushwaha said.

The startup aims to use the funds to expand sales and marketing, especially for international growth.

Joe Hukum, run by GogetSpeedy Technologies Pvt. Ltd, was launched in July 2015 by former HealthKart employees Jain, Kushwaha and Rahul Agarwal. It provides automated communication solutions to businesses and enables them to communicate across website, app and social media platforms.

"Many young entrepreneurs are trying to solve the automation and intelligence gap around communication. Joe Hukum has a great approach toward business and technology," said Sumit Jain.

Joe Hukum's clients include state-run IRCTC, BookMyTrain, EaseMyTrip, Droom, Kings XI Punjab, PolicyBazaar, Shine, Citrus Payments, Safexpress, Knowlarity, HealthKart and 1mg. It also has a few international clients including a major insurance company with presence in 15 countries.

The funding commitment comes after the startup shifted its business model in June to focus more on business-to-business operations for better monetisation. It earlier used to operate as app-based provider of concierge services.

Last year, Joe Hukum had raised an undisclosed sum in seed funding from Tracxn Labs, Citrus Payments co-founder Jitendra Gupta and's Prashant Tandon.

Apart from Joe Hukum, a few other artificial intelligence-based chatbots have caught investors' interest this year.

In August, Kolkata-based Mihup Communications Pvt. Ltd, which operates an artificial intelligence-based personal mobile assistant app, secured over Rs 45 crore from Accel Partners.

In July, artificial intelligence chatbot shopping app Mezi raised Rs 60 crore in Series A funding from Saama Capital, American Express Ventures, existing investor Nexus Venture Partners and others.

Gurgaon-based travel search marketplace has also released an artificial intelligence-powered chatbot called ixibaba to help users plan trips and provide information on weather, things to do in a city and tips for offbeat activities.

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