Reliance-owned Haptik acqui-hires conversational commerce platform Buzzo.ai

Reliance-owned Haptik acqui-hires conversational commerce platform Buzzo.ai
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24 Sep, 2019

Conversational artificial intelligence (AI) platform Haptik, a subsidiary of Reliance Industries, has acquired Mumbai-based conversational commerce startup Buzzo.ai.

The 5-member startup team joins Haptik to address the $80 billion global voice commerce market for enterprises, the company said in a statement.

The announcement follows Haptik's recent acqui-hiring of the founding team of Los Angeles-based AI startup Convrg. 

While Haptik did not disclose the size of the deal, media reports mentioned it to be around $3 million-$4 million.

Started in 2016 by serial entrepreneurs Anand Ramachandran and Vivek Arya, Buzzo.ai is a platform to create an expert advisor-like conversational shopping experience in retail or ecommerce domains, the statement said.

Haptik claims the acquisition will help it enhance voice and chat commerce solutions for its customers globally. The company counts Fortune 500 brands such as Samsung, KFC, Coca-Cola, OYO, HDFC and Viacom18 as its customers. 

Haptik will also leverage the platform to power multilingual experiences.

“Over the last 18 months, we have been primarily focused on customer service AI solutions. But given our mission to enable the paradigm shift from clicks to conversations, commerce was always the next frontier. The Buzzo.ai team has taken a very unique approach to solving this problem, which is totally different from what we have today. This is what attracted us to them, and then once we got to know the team better it was a no brainer,” said Swapan Rajdev, co-founder and chief technological officer, Haptik.

Buzzo.ai enables an AI assistant that can understand a customer's needs through natural conversation. It then comes up with the most relevant recommendations that match the specific inputs and explains why that may be the best choice. The AI assistant builds in-depth knowledge using product details and customer reviews, the statement said.

“In 2016 we were looking for a new problem to solve in the same area and found that conversational commerce was still a wide-open space. We were confident that our approach would lead to genuine end-user impact, and combining that with the world moving to being voice first, we knew we were on to something,” said Arya, co-founder, Buzzo.ai.

Haptik was founded in 2013 by Rajdev and Aakrit Vaish. The company offers an AI-based chatbot that can help consumers interact with virtual agents and organisations via both text and voice.

In April 2019, Reliance acquired 87% stake in Haptik.

The transaction also involved Times Internet, which was until then Haptik’s major investor, exiting the company.