More investment from Ratan Tata folks. The Tata Sons’ Chairman Emeritus and perhaps one of the most active angel investor of these times, has invested an undisclosed amount in AI powered chat platform, Niki.AI. The round also saw participation from existing investors, Unilazer ventures.
The funds raised in this latest round will be used by the company to strengthen its technology and to increase the base of partner businesses.
Ratan Tata, Chairman Emeritus of Tata Sons, has made more than quarter of a century investments in startups in the last two years. Some of his investments include online marketplace Snapdeal, digital wallet provider Paytm, cab hailing service Ola, data analytics company Tracxn Technologies, online pet supplies store Dogspot.In and online lingerie store Zivame.
This is his second investment in an artificial intelligence startup. Last year, he had invested in Infinite Analytics, an artificial intelligence-based predictive analytics startup.
Sachin Jaiswal, chief executive officer of Niki.ai, said,
It’s a proud moment for the company to have an investment from Tata and for Unilazer to do a follow-on round. The vision with Niki is to be the enabler for everything commerce, across platforms whether Android, iOS, messaging or otherwise. With the continued support from our investors, we now want to expand aggressively across categories.
Founded in 2015 by Shishir Modi, Keshav Prawasi, Sachin Jaiswal, Nitin Babel, Niki.ai is a bot that lets users order anything through a chat interface. Earlier, the company has raised an undisclosed amount in seed funding from Ronnie Screwvala’s Unilazer Ventures.
Niki uses natural language processing, a method that enables machines to understand human language inputs, and machine learning, wherein the machine self-learns with increasing data to converse with the customers over a chat interface and helps them place various orders.
Currently, it is offering bill payments, cab booking, recharge, food ordering and cricket scores. It is soon going to expand its offering and will offer new services including laundry services, bus booking, hotel booking, event ticketing and doctor appointments.
Niki works on a channel partnership model and generates revenue for every order processed on its platform. It is also working with brands to provide them chatbots for their use cases and applications. Shishir Modi, co-founder of the company, said,
We want Niki to be a platform independent, plugged and used on any interface, whether Android, iOS, Messaging, Mobile OS, wearables or otherwise. Hence an instance of Niki will be available (in form of SDK) for any brand to integrate and use.
The company has so far partnered with more than 25 brands and the startup claims to have grown to a user base of 40,000 spread pan-India. Last month, in a first-of-its-kind offering, Niki partnered with LimeTray to let users order food using its chat interface.