Enterprise Conversational Analytics Startup Uniphore Raises $140M
Conversational analytics startup Uniphore has raised $140 million in a Series D funding round led by Sorenson Captial. Uniphore provides AI-powered virtual agents for voice-based customer service and analysis and is now looking to expand into video conversations as well.
Voice and Video AI
Uniphore, founded in India in 2008, has built up an enterprise services platform with services including natural language processing-based transcription and analytics, conversational AI assistants to handle customer service, and voice authentication tools. The new funding will go to expanding what Uniphore offers clients to the world of video conversations as well. Uniphore acquired Emotion Research Lab earlier this year and is working to leverage that Spanish startup’s tech for monitoring and measuring the facial expressions and eye movement of people on video calls to identify emotions and mood. Video on top of the voice elements could give Uniphore a bigger space to work in, adding new verticals like sales and human resources to its list.
“Given the rapid digital transformation happening across the enterprise, the need for automated and intelligent solutions to help drive new business models has never been greater. We saw this years ago and have been delivering innovation to areas such as contact centers, to enable better customer experiences,” Uniphore CEO Umesh Sachdev said in a statement. With our recent acquisitions of RPA (Robotic Process Automation) and video AI technology, we alone can deliver a conversational service automation platform for the modern Enterprise, combining conversational AI and RPA across voice and video-based engagements.”
This is Uniphore’s largest round of funding by far and brings its total to $210 million, mostly in the last few years. That fits with the surging interest from investors in the conversational AI and analytics space for enterprises. The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the market even more, with contact center agents operating remotely and sometimes being overwhelmed by incoming calls, making virtual agents even more valuable. The rapid growth in the industry means Uniphore expects to hit $100 million in recurring revenue starting next year. The company expanded its own space into the U.S. in 2019 with an office in Palo Alto.
Plenty of other firms have taken advantage of the rise of enterprise AI in the last year or so. Deepgram raised $25 million in February for its voice transcription and analytics, while Dialpad raised $100 million in October for its own voice AI business services; not long after Observe.AI raised $54 million for its own voice analytics services. Seeing the trend has also led to acquisitions like Five9’s purchase of virtual agent platform Inference Solutions. And while the pandemic may have sped up the spread of this kind of technology, its end won’t mean the benefits vanish, so diversifying and expanding as quickly as possible makes sense for Uniphore and any of its competition.
“This injection of capital and new addition to our board leadership will fuel our growth, position us to outpace the competition and help transform business through dramatically improved customer experiences,” Sachdev said.