Growing interest and appetite for generative AI startups: Fireflies.ai CEO
According to the CEO, unlike other technologies, AI is changing in a span of six months, and transcription is just the foundational layer.
AI meeting assistantCEO Krish Ramineni said the company is building on top of its transcription offering with generative technology and may consider raising funds early next year to support expansion plans.
Ramineni, during his India visit, spoke to PTI about the rapid growth in AI and startups in India and Silicon Valley. He said at present there is a lot of interest and appetite for generative AI startups.
Fireflies.ai helps you to transcribe, summarise, search, and analyse voice conversations.
On its fundraising plans, Ramineni said, "We have potential plans to look into it at the start of next year. There's definitely a lot of interest and appetite for generative AI startups right now, but we're operating well and we're pretty capital efficient, so we have plenty of runway," he added.
Launched just before the pandemic in January 2020, the San Francisco-based company has raised USD 19 million until now. Fireflies.ai operates in 20 nations and has offices in Delhi, Hyderabad, and Bengaluru in India.
"The perfect catalyst was Covid and the remote work push that happened in 2020. So we raised our seed round in 2019, and then in 2020 January we launched the company. A few weeks later COVID started, everyone was on Zoom or some sort of video conferencing platform. That was a huge accelerator for us then," he said.
Ramineni said the company is building on top of its transcription offering with generative technology.
"With the generative AI hype and all that's happening with Chat GPT, we're seeing how transcription is just the foundational layer and you can do so much more on top of it. People can get meeting notes, summaries write an email based on what was said in the conversation," he said.
Everyone now has a digital assistant, and Fireflies is trying to create not just meeting assistants but work assistants for people, he added.
Ramineni noted that unlike other technologies, AI "is showing change in a span of six months."
Even though customers have taken well to generative technologies, Ramineni admitted that enterprises are concerned if their data is being used to train their algorithm.
On the aspect of data privacy, he said, "That might work well for individuals and they might not care as much, but enterprises, it's a no-go. So we took a very strong stance from our early days that if we're going to bring AI, it has to be ethically implemented."
The platform offers private storage, "so that you own your data," Ramineni affirmed.
Ramineni pushed for upskilling and working on soft skills like communication to insulate from AI impacting jobs and offering workers to wear several hats in an organisation.
"We're looking for our engineering R&D recruits to become generalists in product and design, and upskilling our customer support folks to become account managers," he said.