Networking through Introbot, an AI platform that helps discover and build professional connections

Founded in 2021, Introbot is an AI-powered platform that helps attendees access and nurture business relationships with relevant decision makers at events and business communities.

Networking through Introbot, an AI platform that helps discover and build professional connections

Monday December 25, 2023,

7 min Read

While building a community of over 4,000 entrepreneurs in 2019 through Founders Circle, a mentoring and support group, it became clear to Utkarsh Roy that there was a need for a more effective way for professionals to connect with each other. 

At Founders Circle’s events in India and the United States, Roy realised that decision makers and business owners were looking for better ways to discover like-minded people and connect with them in a more direct and reliable way. 

People often asked Roy if he could connect them to X or Y at some firm or the other, but it was not easy to do so. 

“Thus, crucial business relationships–such as those with potential vendors, investors, distributors, and clients–that could boost one’s business, often remained uninitiated,” he says. 

These uninitiated conversations and lost networking opportunities prompted Roy to come up with a solution for efficient engagement with professional/business connections. 

Founded in 2021, Introbot is an AI-powered WhatsAppplatform that helps attendees access, engage, and build professional relationships with relevant decision-makers at events and business communities.

The startup was part of TechSparks 2023, YourStory’s tech-startup event in Bengaluru, and made it to YourStory’s Tech30 list, as one of the 30 most promising Indian startups of 2023.

Networking opportunities

Introbot is an invite-only discovery and connection platform primarily targeting events and closed-door communities.

The Introbot platform is designed to facilitate connections among founders, professionals, and investors. It features a WhatsApp AI chatbot for attendees; users can ask the chatbox to find specific individuals and it curates recommendations, allowing direct connections within WhatsApp. 

For event organisers, Introbot offers a web dashboard with admin controls and analytics.

Main users of the platform include event attendees, sponsors, speakers, organisers, and community admins.  

Roy believes traditional networking through email and LinkedIn has limitations such as low open rates and spam and is not the most efficient method for business owners and founders to discover and connect with relevant peers.

“Meeting new individuals often opens doors to various opportunities, like fundraising or discovering a new job. Our platform prioritises meaningful interactions over the noise of emails and the content-focused nature of other social platforms,” says Roy.

“Decision makers need a more direct way to connect. Also, they prefer attending events and being part of online communities like alumni groups, VC portfolio groups, and startup groups to meet relevant people,” he adds. 

The app also facilitates last-mile communication over WhatsApp, ensuring important updates like ‘7 days to go’ and ‘speaker details’ are delivered to users. 

Precise matchmaking and insights

Identifying and connecting with relevant individuals during events, limited networking access, curation issues, and the absence of event engagement tracking are some of the challenges of mid-to-large B2B events and communities. Introbot strives to step in to tackle these hurdles.

“Suppose I run a digital marketing firm, my purpose of attending an event would primarily be to find leads of brands and startups. I would only like to connect with brands that fall into this criteria,” says Roy. 

To match users with relevant people who fit their needs and criteria, Introbot gathers data that’s useful for both the organisers and the sponsors. The data includes who’s most active in the network, what the majority of people are interested in, how engaged the community is, and the best times to launch marketing campaigns, etc. 

For instance, if a founder wants to meet potential investors, Introbot’s chatbot gives them options on WhatsApp. The founder can then connect with the connections either through his phone number or LinkedIn.

Event organisers often lack detailed engagement data beyond registration details. Introbot aims to capture insights into attendee intent and purpose and provide valuable analytics, thus facilitating meaningful engagement between people. 

Leveraging AI 

While pursuing an MSc in computer science at University of Toronto, Roy met Ilya Sutskever, who is the co-founder and chief scientist at OpenAI. Sutskever was Roy’s senior at the university. 

Roy also had the opportunity to learn from Geoffrey Hinton, referred to as ‘Godfather of AI’. Hinton is currently a professor in the computer science department at University of Toronto.

“Over the past decade, I have closely observed Professor Hinton, his students, and their research group pioneering AI models,” says Roy. 

All this helped Roy build Introbot with a foresight grounded in a deep understanding of the technological strides in AI.

The in-built AI engine in Introbot recommends relevant connections and content based on a person’s profile information. It understands over 10,000 keywords and can create a network graph of information and people one must connect with, thus saving time, effort and other opportunity costs. 

Layered on top of this is the communication interface–the WhatsApp chat bot– which serves as the primary means for users to interact and connect with each other.

Introbot places data privacy at its core. 

“Whether it’s event organisers managing gatherings, we engage with the organisers directly. Members can only connect with each other once mutual consent is established,” says Roy. 

Challenges in the journey

Despite customer demand, the startup faces challenges in handling operations, due to its small team, making it tough to onboard new clients and partners and provide services.

“While we strive for a high-quality delivery every time, we are running out of bandwidth with every team member handling multiple departments. A fundraise combined with a rapid hiring plan soon should be able to fix this,” says Roy.

Growth and future 

Introbot not only caters to the Indian market but is also striking connections in other parts of the world such as the United States and Europe. 

“We are anticipating a US expansion soon, considering the diverse backgrounds of some of our team members,” says Roy. 

Introbot has collaborated with YourStory, NRAI, Simpl, Inc42, Unicommerce, D2C Insider, and Antler, over 300 B2B communities, and 30,000 decision-makers. 

The startup served as the designated networking and relationship platform for At TechSparks, YourStory’s flagship tech-startup event. At TechSparks 2023 in Bengaluru, Introbot helped over 3,000 individuals discover more than 5,000 relevant peer attendees across the network. 

Other players in the B2B community and event management space globally include Luma, Eventbrite, Convosight, Cevents, and meetup.com.

Going forward, the team aims to focus on B2B events, both in India and abroad. Another focal point would be diverse business communities, ranging from founder groups to various Slackchannels. 

With hundreds of businesses and decision-makers joining Introbot every week, along with an increasing number of communities and events the team manages, the current architecture of the technology struggles to scale efficiently, resulting in slower response rates.

“As we strive for improvement, we believe our AI engine can be much faster and better, especially with the integration of Gen AI. Moreover, enhanced data processing and NLP (natural language processing) capabilities are crucial for our continued growth," says Roy.

The team is actively working on enhancing product lines and is on the lookout for professionals, including AI/LLM engineers, data engineers, and operations personnel.

Introbot is backed by 021 Capital (led by founder of Flipkart Binny Bansal), Schmidt Futures (led by ex-chairman of Google Eric Schmidt), Antler India, Chaitanya Ramalingegowda, (founder of Wakefit) and Ritesh Malik (founder of Oyo Innov8).

Introbot has raised about half a million in funding so far, and is looking to raise more money in the future. 

“We have forged numerous impactful partnerships with major events and communities, leading us to achieve a positive revenue flow. Fundraising is certainly in the pipeline as we set our sights on the next level of growth,” signs off Roy.

(The story was updated to make factual corrections.)


Edited by Swetha Kannan