Conversational AI App Developer Jargon Acquired by International Money Transfer Startup Remitly
Seattle-based Jargon began as a conversational translation service for voice apps but evolved over time into more of a content management system. The low-code platform model offered a way for those without deep technical expertise to add, adjust, and remove content from their voice apps on Alexa, Google Assistant, and Rasa without the need of a team of engineers. Jargon was part of Amazon’s Alexa Accelerator, joining the sophomore cohort in 2018, and raised about $1.8 million in investment, primarily from Amazon, Crosslink Capital, and Ubiquity Ventures. Though the Jargon leadership is confirmed to be joining Remitly, the language of the announcement is slightly ambiguous, referring to “the acquisition of a license to the intellectual property.” We’ve reached out to Jargon for clarification.
“Our vision for Jargon has always been to create great customer experiences, by making digital products more accessible and easy to use, and that focus is just as important as ever as we join forces with Remitly,” Brace said in a statement. “Remitly’s incredible momentum, combined with its ambition and prospects over the last several years made this choice a unanimous one for us. We’re excited to combine what we’ve learned with Remitly’s compelling mission, and we look forward to our collective future building, growing and contributing as one of Seattle’s fastest-growing companies.”
Fellow Techstars alum and Seattle neighbor Remitly offers a mobile app and financial services designed to make it easy for people to transfer money internationally. The service is built especially for immigrants sending money home, also known as a remittance. The streamlined process is faster, cheaper, and more transparent, according to the decade-old startup. People in more than 100 countries can receive money via Remitly, though the money can only be sent from 17 countries at the moment. Just this week, Visa made an unspecified investment in Remitly, a move rumored to presage the startup’s IPO and Visa’s approval. Remitly closed an $85 million funding round in July at a $1.5 billion valuation. The modular, simplified approach to complex technical tasks unites Remitly and Jargon, which helped pave the way to the deal.
“We’ve followed Jargon’s trajectory over the last few years and have been inspired by Milkana and Jonathan’s success in building a platform that made it easier for customers around the world to adopt voice technology,” Remitly CEO Matt Oppenheimer said in a statement. “As selective as we have and will continue to be in making acquisitions, we knew the Jargon team could help us create better experiences for our own customers. It’s an exciting time to work in financial services as the industry moves more and more digital. Jargon’s leadership and its incredibly talented team will help us continue to exceed customer expectations – both in the near term and beyond.”