Ratan Tata backed AI startup, Niki.ai raises $2 million in Series A round

AI based startup, Niki.ai has raised $2 million Series A funding from San Francisco-based fund SAP.iO and existing investor Ronnie Screwvala’s Unilazer Ventures. The round also saw participation from other Indian investors including Haresh Chawla (Partner at True North) and Arihant Patni, along with some US and German investors.

The startup plans to deploy raised capital to enhance machine learning capabilities, building voice and multilingual functionalities. Some part of the fund will be also used in distribution network expansion.

Ram Jambunathan, Managing Director, SAP.iO said “We believe that Niki.ai has an innovative technical approach and is building a scalable product that can change the commerce industry. We are very impressed with how Niki.ai is leveraging AI to help businesses fulfill the needs of consumers. There is a huge opportunity globally, yet to be captured, and the investment will fuel the next level of growth for Niki.ai.”

Niki.ai was started in April 2015 by four IIT Kharagpur alumni – Shishir Modi, Sachin Jaiswal, Keshav Prawasi, and Nitin Babel as an AI-powered shopping assistant. With chatbot SDK, it leverages NLP and machine learning to converse with the customers over a chat interface, to shop for products and services.

The company provides a simple and easy to use chat interface that can be easily integrated on app and web. It supports over 20 categories including entertainment, travel, daily utilities, with partners.

“Niki.ai has been focused on building the product for the past 2 years. We believe we have the capability to disrupt the AI and bot space. Owing to our robust technology, innovative solutions and successful business model, we have managed to win significant investor confidence globally, with our existing investors continuing to back us strongly,” said Sachin Jaiswal, CEO, Niki.ai.

With a 35% month-on-month revenue growth, the company has 50+ partners on board such as BookMyShow, Redbus, OYO, Ola, Uber, JustRechargeIt to name a few.

With data of over 75 million interactions over the past 2 years, the Bengaluru-based company is soon going to add the feature of voice communication, which is already being beta tested. Furthermore, to tap deeper into the Indian market, Niki.ai aims to train its NLP engine to interpret Indian languages, starting with Hindi and then eventually being multilingual. It also plans on being on a lot more platforms like iOS and messaging platforms like Slack.