Enterprise Conversational AI Startup Kore.ai Raises $70M
Conversational AI startup Kore.ai has raised $70 million in a Series C funding round led by Vistara Growth and PNC and another $20 million in debt from Sterling National Bank. Kore offers a platform to create, test and release voice and text-based virtual assistants for customer service and other interactions, with more than a billion interactions to its name, according to the company.
Kore for More
Kore unveiled a contact center with an integrated virtual assistant and monitoring setup called SmartAssist a retail banking-centered virtual assistant named BankAssist. The company counts major brands like AT&T, eBay, and PNC as clients, but the latest round triples the total raised by Kore to about $100 million. Kore claims its services have been used by more than 100 million consumers and saved its clients more than $500 million since it launched in 2014. The new capital is earmarked to fuel the rapid growth of Kore’s business and feature development in response to the accelerating rise in demand for its services, citing Gartner’s estimate of 75% annual growth in the conversational AI platform market.
“As customer expectations continue to rise, they increasingly expect the type of world-class experience that our customers deliver using our best-of-breed conversational AI based XO platform,” Kore.ai CEO Raj Koneru said in a statement. “We are absolutely thrilled to have such strong financial and strategic partners as investors, who can help guide us as we continue to grow exponentially in the market by enabling our customers to deliver extraordinary conversational AI experiences which result in extraordinary outcomes.”
Kore.ai’s enormous capital injection matches the ambitions of its potential competitors. The spike in enterprise conversational AI use, partly attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic, is not subsiding, making major funding and acquisitions of startups in the field almost routine over the last year or so. Microsoft’s nearly $20 billion acquisition of Nuance is easily the biggest number in the space, but the $78.15 million scored by Yellow.ai, Shelf.io’s pickup of $52.5 million, and Gupshup collecting $100 million are just a few of the other recent standouts as the market expands.