Ratan Tata, chairman emeritus of Tata Sons pumped an undisclosed amount in Bangalore-based artificial intelligence startup niki.ai.
Along with Mr. Tata, Existing investor, Ronnie Screwvala’s Unilazer Ventures also participated in this funding round.
Unilazer had invested in the chat App back on October 2015 and had made a commitment of a follow-on investment round of up to Rs 5 crore.
“Chatbots have now picked up globally and Niki has been at the forefront of this innovation, building the technology for over a year now. We continue to support the team as we believe in their vision to simplify transactions for consumers,” said Screwvala.
niki.ai was founded in April 2015 by four IIT Kharagpur Alumni – Sachin Jaiswal, Keshav Prawasi, Nitin Babel and Shishir Modi and has now grown to a 21 member strong team. Niki allows users to recharge mobiles, book cabs, pay bills and get live cricket scores through its chat interface. It leverages natural language processing and machine learning technologies to converse with customers over a simple chat interface, and places their orders with partner businesses within seconds.
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.”
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.