On Tuesday, Artificial Intelligence-based conversational banking platform Active.Ai announced raising $8.25 million in Series A financing led by Vertex Ventures, Creditease Holdings, and Dream Incubator. The funds will be used to scale to other geographies while bolstering their product and technology teams.
Existing investors Kalaari Capital and IDG Ventures India also participated in the round.
As a part of this financing, Ben Mathias, Managing Partner at Vertex Ventures, and Vani Kola, Managing Director at Kalaari Capital, will join Sanat Rao from IDG Ventures India on the company’s board of directors. Anju Patwardhan from Creditease will join as a board observer.
Founded in early 2016 by Ravi Shankar, Shankar Narayanan, and Parikshit Paspulati, the company is working with some top-tier banks and insurance companies in India, Malaysia, Singapore, and North America and plans to expand into other verticals like wealth management and securities trading. The company’s vision is to become the AI platform of choice for leading financial services companies across the world.
Active.Ai’s proprietary AI engine, Triniti, enables financial institutions to have a meaningful engagement with their customers in an intuitive natural format covering messaging, voice, and IOT devices. This full-stack solution has been built ground-up and comprises Machine Learning, Natural Language Processing (NLP), and Natural Language Generation.
Keeping in mind the requirements of financial institutions, the Singapore-headquartered company offers a flexibility of deployment: on-premise or in the cloud.
The company employs 50 people out of its offices in Bengaluru and Singapore.
Speaking of the fund raise, Ravi Shankar, Co-founder and CEO, Active Intelligence (which owns Active.Ai), said:
“I am excited by the future possibilities of AI and how this technology will shape the banking and financial world. There is a very strong need for banks and financial institutions to evolve fast and empower customers with the ability to do transactions as part of their habitual daily micro-conversations. With the fresh injection of funds, Active.Ai will scale up and continue to hire talented people for the AI team and focus on building the best enterprise product in the market.”
As part of Kalaari Capital’s seed programme, KStart, the company had previously received an investment of $500,000. In November last year, the company had also raised $3 million in funding from venture capital firms Kalaari Capital and IDG Ventures India.
Ben Mathias said,
“The threat of fundamental disruption is very real in the financial services space, and companies such as Active.ai are making it easy for incumbents to not just remain relevant but get ahead in an ever-evolving market. At Vertex, we have been strong believers in AI helping solve problems specific to industry verticals, and that has been a key driver of our decision to partner with Active.ai.”
Vani Kola commented,
“We are very excited to have Vertex, Creditease, and Dream Incubator join us in this exciting journey of building a world-class AI product from India. The fresh round of funding will help us invest even more into technology and expand our footprint into other geographies.”
“Active.Ai’s NLP platform for conversational banking is rapidly gaining acceptance with key banking customers globally. We continue to be impressed with the passion and capabilities of the team, and are excited to be part of the next phase of their journey,” said Sanat Rao, Partner, IDG Ventures India.
Just last week, according to YourStory research, over 10 startups raised $106 million in funding.
Some of the key ones included big data-as-a-service company Qubole announcing a $25 million strategic round, personal finance management startup Fisdom raising $3.8 million, along with microfinance company Spandana Sphoorty raising $62 million in debt capital from Aditya Birla Capital.
It seems like investors' love for fintech is still going strong.
Disclaimer: Kalaari Capital is an investor in YourStory.