[Tech 50] How Xane AI is making user manuals smarter and helping businesses become more efficient

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Xane AI, a YourStory Tech50 startup, was founded in 2017 by Ayush Jain and Sahil Narain. It uses AI, computer vision, and NLP to help organisations create personalised user experiences.
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Ayush Jain was driving late one night with his mentor when his car broke down, in the middle of nowhere, at 1 am. Distressed and unable to identify the issue, they called a towing service and got the car moved to the nearest garage.

Ayush recalls he spent the entire night wondering and worrying about what the problem with his car was, if it was going to be an expensive repair job, and if it was something that could be fixed quickly. The IIT-Delhi graduate and AI (artificial intelligence) enthusiast was in the final leg of his college journey, and there was much to do, much to see, and time was precious.

"The repair work took five minutes,” Ayush tells YourStory. “It was something to do with the engine oil. When I told my friends, they laughed and said it was something anyone could’ve done if they had read the owner’s manual."

Ayush and his mentor did a quick survey around the room, in jest, to prove to his friend that not many people read the owner’s manual, and they were right. Upon further investigation into the matter, Ayush and his friends found that nearly 85 percent of the people who bought an automobile, or anything else that comes with a user’s manual did not actually bother reading it.

Or even if they did, they did not retain the specific information for too long.

A ‘light bulb’ went off in Ayush’s head —  what if he used AI to make the owner’s manual more accessible, specific to the problem, and easy to access all the time?

And thus, Xane AI, a YourStory Tech50 startup for 2021, was born.

What it does

Xane is essentially an AI platform that helps businesses reduce their cost to service, and increase user retention through DIY (do-it-yourself) diagnostics, using computer vision and natural language processing (NLP).

“Imagine if you could take your smartphone, point it at the light blinking on your car’s dashboard, and then upload it onto an app that would then use AI in the background to throw up an accurate diagnosis, and ways you could yourself troubleshoot the problem,” says Ayush, who co-founded the startup with Sahil Narain.

Currently, the startup services only B2B (business-to-business) by providing virtual assistance via AI for its clients’ service engineers, workshops, customers and field agents. So a person working in a factory can quickly run diagnostics on a stalled or broken-down machine, or even use Xane’s platform to carry out a standard operating procedure.

It currently offers three products:

Xane Assist —  a self-service user support platform.

Xane CX —  a customer experience platform.

Xane HR —  an employee engagement service.

The products are available across 12 Indian vernacular languages, including, Hindi, Punjabi, Gujarati, Kannada.

The startup hopes to unveil a B2C (business-to-consumer) product that can help consumers and everyday people troubleshoot for their electronic gadgets too, especially household appliances such as refrigerators and washing machines.

According to Xane AI, it is reducing companies’ cost to service per request by more than 82 percent, and increases user retention to the brand channels by 54 percent as more and more customers visit the self-diagnosis page to troubleshoot their appliances and devices.

It also says it reduces companies’ turnaround times, strengthens potential sales streams for accessories and parts, and makes the workforce more efficient by finding an accurate diagnosis without having to waste time on trial and error.

Technology used

Xane AI’s product offering is built on their proprietary AI platform that amalgamates multiple aspects of machine learning. Xane AI also offers bespoke solutions for industry-specific use-cases.

Its client portfolio spans sectors such as automobile, FMCG (fast moving consumer goods), healthcare, banking, and entertainment.

It hopes to get into aviation soon.

Customers include Maruti Suzuki, Aditya Birla Group where its tech is deployed at its production unit, Robert Bosch and Hindustan Petroleum, among others.

Revenue model and future

Xane AI works like a B2B SaaS startup. It charges clients based on the number of API (Application Programming Interface) calls made to its AI platform. For on-premise and high volumes, it also offers a licence.

Ayush says the startup is cash flow positive at the moment, although it is in talks for a seed round. It has an annual recurring revenue of $0.1 million, currently, which it expects to jump to $5 million by next year.

The SaaS startup has raised Rs 1 crore so far from the Netherlands-based Rockstart AI Accelerator. It hopes to build expertise in the Western European market soon too, given the network it is able to access because of the startup’s ties with Rockstart.

Its competitors include other B2B SaaS startups such as Myelin Foundry Discovery.AI, and Uniphore, among others, although they don’t do exactly what Xane does, but do use AI to improve business efficiency.

India’s expenditure on artificial intelligence is expected to skyrocket to $880.5 million by 2023, growing at a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 30.8 percent from $300.7 million in 2019, according to a report by research firm IDC. Businesses, especially, have been deploying AI to provide deeper insights into their operations, as well as make them smarter in everything they do, and companies like Xane AI are poised to benefit from this.

Edited by Ramarko Sengupta

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