British Enterprise Speech Analytics Startup Aveni Raises $1.5M
Scotland-based speech analytics startup Aveni has raised around $1.5 million £1.1 million in a funding round led by Tricapital. Aveni offers financial service providers an AI-powered natural language processing (NLP) engine for transcribing and analyzing conversations with customers to improve their services. The new funding will aid the release of the new Aveni Detect platform, which will automatically process what the customer says for analysis.
Aveni Detect is designed to boost the efficiency and quality of a customer’s interaction when they call a financial services company by feeding the audio of the call directly into the NLP engine for processing. Finance has been the central pillar of Aveni’s clientele since it was founded in Edinburgh in 2018, but the new platform and funding will enable the startup to begin widening its focus to other verticals.
The new platform works through digital conferencing or during in-person meetings. The AI transcribed what is said in real-time and can offer suggestions and ideas on how best to interact with the customer then or in future encounters to simultaneously make the experience pleasant for the customer and give the user a chance to upsell them. It could save clients hundreds of millions of dollars as well when it comes to issues like compliance. The new Financial Conduct Authority rules on Fair Treatment of Vulnerable Customers would cost that much to implement normally, but Aveni Detect can automate the process to drastically cut down the final price tag.
“It’s a win-win situation. By using AI to help automate processes like quality assurance and risk monitoring, material cost reductions can be achieved,” Aveni CEO Joseph Twigg said in a statement. ” At the same time, companies gain targeted insights on customer experience and training opportunities for customer-facing staff.”
This marks Tricapital’s second time leading a funding round for Aveni for a $1.7 million total in investment for the startup. A lot of money has been flowing to companies pursuing similar goals as Aveni from different directions. The list of potential rival eeps getting longer, most recently with Webio raising $2.1 million and Hyro’s recent $10.5 million raise. The field only expands when considering larger companies and their raises like ASAPP’s $120 round million in May and, at the far end, Microsoft’s almost $20 billion acquisition of Nuance Inference Solutions. With financial services rapidly evolving after the pandemic, though, Aveni will probably have plenty of clients looking for their assistance.
“Consumer behavior and business needs have changed significantly over the past 18 months as the service industry digitized in response to the pandemic. This created a new base of consumers comfortable with video conferencing led, digital-first services,” Twigg said. “But it also created a major challenge for firms to monitor and assess these calls, especially as an increasing number of them were from vulnerable customers who needed additional attention. In the new world, AI can be adopted throughout the customer journey, driving new insight, significant efficiency gains and better protecting the vulnerable.”