$400M Raise Transforms Uniphore into a Unicorn of Call Center Conversational AI
Call center conversational AI platform Uniphore has raised $400 million in a Series E funding round led by NEA. The new round sets a $2.5 billion valuation for the startup, making it officially a unicorn after raising $610 million since it launched in India 15 years ago to bring AI-powered virtual agents for voice-based customer service and analysis.
Uniphore’s enterprise services platform combines a range of AI services building on natural language processing and analytics. A wide range of customer service clients use the conversational AI assistants, transcription, and authentication tools for phone and video interactions. The newest funding round will allow the company to rapidly scale its services and improve its AI. That means streamlining development with little or no coding and better emotional analysis from facial expressions thanks to the acquisition last year of Jacada and Emotion Research Lab, respectively. The spike in demand for Uniphore’s services engendered during the COVID-19 pandemic helped it close a $140 million funding round last spring. The company’s growth has accelerated since, making it easy for Uniphore to pick up the significant new funding round.
“Understanding conversations and the data and insights derived from them is essential to every business,” Uniphore CEO Umesh Sachdev explained. “Our conversational automation engine has been delivering powerful and innovative solutions to help enterprises not just survive but thrive amidst all the demands placed on them by customers. It is an incredibly exciting time to be in this industry and at Uniphore, with a rapidly growing customer base and unparalleled talent joining our leadership team and board of directors. I am looking forward to working with businesses around the world to help drive their success in 2022.”
Enterprise conversational AI companies are collecting a steady stream of major investment, especially those servicing the customer service space. Recently, Talkmap raised $8 million, and NLX raised $5 million for just that, but the bigger checks are also plentiful. Kore.ai raised $70 million, while Yellow.ai pulled $78.15 million, Shelf.io’s grabbed $52.5 million, and Dialpad’s scored a $170 million raise in December. The value of this kind of technology even helped Microsoft decide to pay nearly $20 billion to acquire Nuance, one of the biggest company purchases of the last few years.