With AI co-workers, PaaS firm E42.ai is making enterprises intelligent

E42.ai’s PaaS model offers end-to-end automation for different business processes. Its clients range from Fortune 500 companies to SMEs and startups across sectors.

With AI co-workers, PaaS firm E42.ai is making enterprises intelligent

Wednesday November 08, 2023,

6 min Read

While advancements in artificial intelligence are helping some write essays, enterprises are banking on automation and AI to streamline operations and boost productivity. Here, language comprehension plays a key role in enabling AI algorithms to attain a cognitive function and facilitate decision-making.

Enterprises are increasingly opting to include Natural Language Processing (NLP) models that can improve all business processes dependent on human languages, such as banking and securities, communication, media, education, insurance, etc. Gartner estimates that the global market for process-agnostic technologies that enable hyper-automation will be $54 billion by 2026, growing at a compound annual growth rate of 16.1% from 2021 to 2026. 

E42.ai’s no-code AI platform is one such NLP-based solution that aims to drive cognition across diverse enterprise processes, catering to both large corporations and startups at scale. 

Developed by Light Information System, E42.ai creates multifunctional cognitive agents capable of automating complex functions to optimise time, energy, resources, and costs. These AI-powered agents can multitask and mirror human intelligence across roles within an organisation.

Today, the platform serves as the foundation for 58 enterprises to develop AI co-workers.

Building enterprise solutions

During their engineering days, Animesh Samuel and Sanjeev Menon shared a passion for machine comprehension. 

While Menon founded a startup in the Voice over Internet Protocol product space in the US and eventually made a strategic exit by selling the IP rights to a prominent global telecom player, Samuel comes with 23 years of experience in technology focusing on product and marketing. 

In the Middle East, Samuel developed a product that assessed behavioural compatibility with job profiles and offered soft skills training to organisations. He was the founder of KAPS International LLC—a training company catering to Indian and international organisations—and was CEO at Pune-based Compulink India. 

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Upon their return to India, the entrepreneurs founded Light Information Systems in 2012 to infuse human-level cognition into systems. The Pune-based venture, which was initially bootstrapped by its founders, launched an SMS-based NLP answering engine ‘Poochh’ wherein people could ask any question and receive the answer. The startup used the Q&A data to build AI and Large Language Models.

In 2018, it went to market with NLPBots—which automated conversations and processes for enterprises—and onboarded clients including Mahindra Group and Tata Communications.

"Our journey started with NLP-Bots, but people began to confuse them with chatbots as AI coworkers could engage in conversations and interact with humans. It didn't take long for us to recognise that this was diluting our range of services,” Animesh Samuel, Co-founder and CEO at E42.ai, tells YourStory

From robotics to cognition

While RPA (Robotic Process Automation) offers choreographed, robotic repetition, the technology generally malfunctions when dealing with inaccurate, unstructured, or blank data, making it difficult to carry out decision-making and problem-solving.

"In any enterprise, there are various processes. Within these processes, there are rule-based segments that operate in a controlled environment. They involve tasks like data extraction and integration into CRM or executing a set of tasks in response to a command, streamlining workflows," Samuel explains.

To address this challenge, E42.ai uses Cognitive Process Automation (CPA) that enables the platform to create cognitive AI workers which can automate routine tasks, make decisions, and handle complex processes involving unstructured data. The platform employs NLP, NLU (Natural Language Understanding), NLG (Natural Language Generation), ICR (Intelligent Character Recognition), voice, conversational AI, face recognition, and intent-based workflows to enable such process-agnostic automation.

While large horizontal platform players also offer various AI features that are use-case agnostic, they often come with challenges like little or no flexibility of deployment on private cloud, excessive pricing, and high transaction costs.

“Unlike other platforms, we aren't dependent on any external cloud service provider for cognitive services; everything is built in-house, granting us the capability to provide enterprises with secure intelligence when needed,” he adds.

E42.ai employs deeptech with its user interface to allow easy deployment of E42.ai Agents across enterprise verticals. The company says its ready-to-deploy solutions can be extended within 2-4 weeks.

"When dealing with data, we utilise our AI models and implement what's known as v2 transfer learning on smaller datasets. This approach helps mitigate issues like hallucinations and overly open-ended interpretations,” says Samuel, adding that the platform’s ability to train on small datasets puts it at an advantage as many enterprises lack extensive data repositories.

Real-world applications

The platform-as-a-service (PaaS) solution offers automation for enterprise processes across multiple domains and industries—marketing, HR, finance, customer service, IT operations, and legal. Accenture, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Nissan Motor Company, McDonald's, and Tata Capitalare part of its clientele. 

One of E42.ai’s clients, a tractor manufacturing giant, reached out for automation solutions to improve HR, IT, and L&D operations that were mostly handled by a human team, resulting in the manual processing of queries. E42 deployed an AI HR Executive that automated the entire HR operations with features like query resolutions, status checks on claims, and an automatic system for granting approvals from managers.  

E42 deployed another AI co-worker, an AI Accounts Payable executive, to enhance the company’s Accounts Payable processes through automation. 

“It’s key innovations included handling scanned documents with 90% accuracy, random sampling strategy, and template-free extraction, resulting in reduced project timelines and enabling a swift go-live,” says Samuel. 

Business model

E42 relies on two primary revenue streams: AI co-worker licenses (priced at $24,000 per year) and platform licenses (for $150,000 per year).

Its monthly recurring revenue stands at Rs 1.08 crore ($135,000) and an Annual Recurring Revenue of $1.63 million. The total revenue generated from April to September this year stands at Rs 6.39 crore ($700,000). 

The company currently maintains 58 active licenses for its B2B SaaS offerings, encompassing both monthly active enterprise and partner licenses, with three of them designated as platform licenses.

"In terms of clientele growth, our company consistently acquires 3-4 new corporate or enterprise users each month, accompanied by an additional 1-2 partner users, further expanding our customer base,” says Samuel. 

E42 was named ‘AI Game Changer of the Year’ by NASSCOM in 2018. It has also won accolades from IDC, Microsoft, Oracle, and SAP.

“Currently, 50% of our revenue comes from the US, around 30% from India, and 20% from the Middle East. We are opening into new markets like Europe, Europe, UK, Africa,” Samuel notes.

The company also recently partnered with UK-based IT solutions service Care By Tech to provide AI-powered solutions to enterprises across the UK and Europe.

In October 2021, Light Information Systems bagged Series A funding of $5.4 million from Pavestone Ventures. 

The startup competes with players like UIPathand Automation Anywhere which optimise repetitive tasks without the need for midstream decision points.

(The copy was updated for clarity.)

Edited by Kanishk Singh