Conversational Commerce Platform CM.com Acquires Chatbot Developer CX for $17.5M
Communications platform developer CM.com is acquiring enterprise chatbot developer CX Company for €15.5 million (about $17.5 million). CM.com is planning to adapt the chatbots for its own systems, which include voice and text-based AI.
CX, a Dutch startup active in a handful of European counties, works with finance, telecom, and utility companies to create and support their branded chatbots. CM already provides a text and voice messaging system for companies to use in customer service through mobile phones. The messaging systems are augmented with cloud-based payment and identification services to handle business transactions and customer payments. By incorporating CX’s tech, CM can add more abilities to its software, not to mention bringing in CX’s existing clientele. It will also give CM a shot at adding new industries to its potential clientele. Both CX co-founders and about 50 employees will move into CM’s ranks of around 300 people as part of the deal.
“We believe that mobile phones will become the number one device to enable communication between businesses and consumers. Over the years we have lived up to this by consistently investing in our platform and cooperating with Apple, Google, Facebook, Tencent and many others, to enrich mobile messages with pictures, videos, buttons and various other powerful features,” said CM.com CEO Jeroen van Glabbeek in a statement. “We are all-in on supporting our global enterprise customers to have meaningful conversations with their consumers. CX Company’s enterprise-grade chatbot technology and high added value solutions are a perfect addition to our offering and an important next step in our journey to become the world leading one-stop-shop for Conversational Commerce.”
The acquisition is another marker in the growing awareness by businesses of AI value for enterprise services. That includes in-house virtual assistants, customer service chatbots, and voice apps that can adapt responses based on what is said to them. That’s what leads to creations like Kaia, a virtual assistant for customer interaction built by major sales platform Outreach. Enterprise AI is drawing plenty of investment in startups like Observe AI and CallMiner, who picked up $26 million and $75 million in funding, respectively, for their approaches to the concept.
That’s before even considering how the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the need in call centers and offices for interactive chatbots and voice assistants both for healthcare organizations and for any other business impacted by the fast-evolving changes provoked by the disease. CM wants to upgrade what it offers clients in terms of AI in the same way. Acquiring CX is simply faster and probably cheaper in the long run than developing those features through its research.