ServiceNow to acquire chatbot startup Passage AI to enhance language capabilities

ServiceNow to acquire chatbot startup Passage AI to enhance language capabilities
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5 Feb, 2020

Cloud-based digital workflow technology provider ServiceNow has signed an agreement to acquire Passage AI, a Mountain View, California-based conversational AI (artificial intelligence) platform.

The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. 

The acquisition will advance ServiceNow’s deep learning AI capabilities and help support all major languages across the company’s Now Platform and products, including ServiceNow Virtual Agent, Service Portal, Workspaces and emerging interfaces, the NYSE-listed company said in a statement.

Founded in 2016 by three Indian-origin entrepreneurs -- Ravi N Raj, Madhu Mathihalli and Mitul Tiwari, Passage AI’s natural language understanding and processing platform can be used to create conversational interface for any website or business. This interface can be deployed on a website, mobile app or on messaging platforms such as Facebook Messenger, Skype and Slack.

The platform is built on deep learning models that can be trained to understand text in all major languages, the company claims.

“Bringing together Passage AI’s conversational AI capabilities with it’s Now Platform and digital workflow capabilities, ServiceNow will expand its chatbot support for non-English languages,” the statement added.

“Passage AI’s technology will enable us to accelerate our vision of empowering great employee and customer experiences by delivering great workflow experiences. ServiceNow believes in making work flow more smoothly across the enterprise, in all major languages,” Debu Chatterjee, senior director of AI engineering at ServiceNow, said.

This deal builds on ServiceNow’s previous AI acquisitions such as Loom Systems, an Israeli startup that specializes in AIOps; cognitive search platform Attivio; natural language processing startups Parlo and FriendlyData; virtual messaging agents creator Qlue and and machine learning startup DxContinuum.

The Santa Clara, California-headquartered ServiceNow was founded in 2004 by Fred Luddy, David Loo, Don Goodliffe and Bow Ruggeri. It provides cloud-based solutions for the management and automation of enterprise operations.

Its cloud‑based platform and solutions deliver digital workflows for enterprises. The company’s Now Platform includes AI and machine learning capabilities to offer its customers enhanced employee and customer experiences and better productivity.

Last month, it unveiled an industry-specific solutions strategy to deliver workflows that help companies in specific industries address their unique digital transformation challenges and create value at scale. According to an official announcement, the company will initially focus on developing industry solutions for the banking and telecommunications industries. It will work with strategic partners to support its industry solutions journey and integrate those solutions in the customer environment.

In July last year, ServiceNow had appointed Arun Balasubramanian as managing director - India and South Asia.