Haptik Acquires Conversational Commerce Platform Buzzo.ai
Haptik, a subsidiary of Reliance Industries and one of the world’s largest conversational AI platforms, today announced that it has acquired Buzzo.ai, a Mumbai-based conversational commerce startup. Started in 2016 by serial entrepreneurs Anand Ramachandran and Vivek Arya, Buzzo.ai is a platform to create an expert advisor-like conversational shopping experience in any retail or e-commerce domains. With these capabilities added, Haptik will be able to further enhance voice and chat commerce solutions for its customers globally, which consist of Fortune 500 brands such as Samsung, KFC, Coca-Cola, Oyo Rooms, HDFC and Viacom18 amongst others. Haptik will also leverage the platform to power multilingual experiences for the next 500 million Indians that come online to shop, following the $100m strategic transaction with Reliance Jio earlier this year.
“Over the last 18 months, we have been primarily focused on customer service AI solutions,” says Swapan Rajdev, Co-Founder & CTO of Haptik, which now process more than 2 billion interactions. “But given our mission to enable the paradigm shift from clicks to conversations, commerce was always the next frontier. The Buzzo.ai team has taken a very unique approach to solving this problem, which is totally different from what we have today. This is what attracted us to them, and then once we got to know the team better it was a no brainer.”
With the world moving to voice-first experiences, Buzzo.ai enables an AI assistant which can understand a customer's need through natural conversation. It then comes up with the most relevant recommendations that match the specific inputs and explains why that may be the best choice. The idea is to simulate a real-life sales associate as closely as possible. The AI Assistant builds in-depth knowledge through available information like product details and customer reviews, and can achieve expert-level understanding for any product or service category faster than anything else on the market.
“We have been working in the areas of NLP, Text Processing, Semantic Search and Information Retrieval for more than 10 years,” said Anand Ramachandran, Co-Founder of Buzzo.ai, whose previous venture Makesense Technologies was a semantic search engine acquired by Naukri in 2013 for $1.5 million. “In 2016 we were looking for a new problem to solve in the same area and found that conversational commerce was still a wide open space. We were confident that our approach would lead to genuine end-user impact, and combining that with the world moving to being voice first, we knew we were on to something.” Adds Vivek Arya, who along with Anand graduated from IIT Bombay in 2007, “As creators of technology, the only way to see the fruit of our work is with massive scale. And that’s what got us excited about Haptik, particularly after their alliance with Reliance Jio. They have been pioneers in this space for many years and we look forward to joining them on this journey.”
This acquisition comes on the heels of Haptik’s expansion to North America, where they acqui-hired the founding team of Convrg, a Los Angeles based startup. With the Buzzo.ai team now on board, the company is set to enable the next generation of advanced AI solutions for enterprises globally across customer care and commerce, a combined market size that is estimated to be more than $500 billion.