At AI bot startups, cold kids rule


You would consider during slightest one AI-powered humanoid bot would have a scrupulously nerdy name. Maybe a Poindexter or Hildegarde to supplement some healthy denunciation estimate to your patron discuss app?

No such luck. Instead, it sounds like a cold kids are in assign during many digital partner and bot startups. Think short, eager names that tip a renouned baby name lists. There’s Aiden and Riley putting AI to work for marketers. Mya can chip in with recruiting. And Ava helps a conference impaired. You get a idea.

Those are some of a some-more than 20 recently saved startups in a Crunchbase dataset with a human-sounding name that are building some arrange of digital partner or AI bot. They’re operative on collection for opposite a operation of consumer and craving tasks, from lead era and patron use to tracking personal finances.

So far, a renouned kids haven’t lifted many try capital. At slightest three-quarters of a companies on a list are seed stage, and ones that are still private have collectively lifted about $35 million in disclosed appropriation in a past year. Of course, there are other startups building bot technologies that don’t have tellurian names (see prejudiced list here), and that boosts a try appropriation sum to during slightest $62 million.

Still, those are flattering tiny numbers for a VC industry. It’s reduction than 5 percent, for example, of a sum that VCs put into food smoothness startups in a past year.

But there’s reason a accessible bot and digital assistants space is value watching. For one, seed investors with some of a best lane annals in a tech attention are active in a space. Y Combinator, that helped move us Airbnb Airbnb, Dropbox and Stripe, has done mixed investments in AI-enabled bot and digital partner startups in a past integrate years, including Claire for retailers, Penny for personal finance, Ross for lawyering, Luka for activity planning, and a aforementioned Riley. SV Angel, one of Silicon Valley’s oldest and best-known seed firms, has corroborated Ava and Polly, a bot for adding surveys to craving messaging platforms.

Big-name VCs who do many of their investing post-seed are also holding partial in some of these rounds. Kleiner Perkins invested in Riley, while Greylock Partners led a $13 million first-time turn for Ozlo, a developer of conversational AI technology. General Catalyst, meanwhile, co-led a $3 million seed turn for Butter.ai, that bills itself as a personal partner for drumming association knowledge.

Probably a many active corporate financier in a space is Slack, a renouned group messaging height that launched an app investment account eighteen months ago. So far, Slack has corroborated during slightest 4 companies on a lists, including a co-investment with General Catalyst in Butter.ai.

In further to attracting savvy investors, digital partner and AI bot startups also reason interest for acquirers. The zone has already delivered one good exit with Samsung’s merger final year of Viv, a AI digital partner startup founded by a creator of Apple’s Siri. Samsung reportedly paid $215 million for Silicon Valley-based Viv, that had formerly lifted $30 million.

It doesn’t harm that a many profitable and desirous record companies have sizeable inner efforts around chatbots and practical partner technologies. The list includes Facebook, Amazon, Google, Tencent and Apple, among others. Considering a partially tiny sums invested in AI chatbot and digital partner startups to date, only a few mid-sized acquisitions by these companies would be adequate to broach huge returns.

Moreover, a humanoid AI space could use some new characters. For now, many people only know Alexa and Siri. It’ll be engaging to watch a new kids mature and to see either any of them will grow adult to turn domicile names.

Featured Image: Li-Anne Dias

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Posted by on Jun 17 2017. Filed under Startups. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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