This is DaveAI: A virtual sales bot wrapped in metaverse-like tech making buying easy in India, Middle East
Bengaluru-headquartered DaveAI uses virtual sales avatars to provide potential customers with an interactive and immersive sales experience.
- DaveAI is a metaverse-like chatbot, which helps shoppers through sales
- It was launched in 2019 and has since then operated in India and the Middle East
- Data Bridge Market Research analyses that the conversational computing platform market in MENA will reach $7,333.64 million by 2030 from $932.92 million in 2022 at a CAGR of 29.04%
For 24-year-old Aditi buying a car was a personal milestone. Like any working individual, she hardly found the time to visit a showroom to pick the right car or even check out websites.
Enter, virtual sales personnel present at all hours of the day every day to interact and help customers like Aditi.
It comes with a metaverse-like experience, which makes for a more personalised experience.
“A normal chatbot is capable of giving reactive answers to a pool of questions and is not capable of proactive and personalised responses like an actual salesperson,” explains Sriram PH, Co-founder and CEO of DaveAI.
“But Dave is powered by AI and audio-visual communication that mimics a real salesperson and creates an immersive experience for customers, which stimulates their discovery mindset and leads to a sale,” he adds.
Launched in 2019 by Sriram PH, Ananthakrishnan Gopal, and Ashok Balasundaram, part of Dave’s immersive experience is driven by the co-founders’ understanding of the dynamic nature of sales.
Before the current version of Dave, in 2017, the trio developed the first version as a sales companion. For the next three years, the software-assisted sales personnel in various industries in understanding how sales take place.
Since then, its final iteration has been used in various industries, many of which are traditionally offline, like automobile, real estate, home decor, banking, and finance.
DaveAI currently employs 55 people and expanded its operations to India and the Middle East in 2020. It now counts clients in the UAE and Saudi Arabia, besides India—where it is headquartered in Bengaluru.
Doubling down on the Middle East
One of the main draws towards the Middle East was how similar it was to India.
Middle Eastern customers’ process of discovering and buying complex technical products is common to Indian customers.
“The region also has a high digital adoption rate, and it will only grow further in the coming decade,” says Sriram.
Data Bridge Market Research (DBMR) analyses that the conversational computing platform market in MENA will reach $7,333.64 million by 2030 from $932.92 million in 2022, growing at a CAGR of 29.40% during the forecast period. Founded in 2014, DBMR is a Gurugram-based market research and consulting firm with more than 500 analysts and a global clientele of more than 5000.
However, the time taken to close deals, and its varied cultural differences did appear as a challenge for the Bengaluru-headquartered startup. To better understand people in the Middle East, it is undertaking a pilot with some of its features adapted to Arabic.
“We understand the value of localising our product,” says Sriram. “Hence, adopting Arabic into our platform will be a non-negotiable part of our foray into the Middle East.”
DaveAI hopes to increase the region’s share of its total revenue to 25% by FY23-24.
Simplifying the AI experience
DaveAI gives a metaverse-like experience through mobile phones, virtual reality devices, websites, and the cloud. Working at its core is a multi-dimensional affinity engine—a type of matchmaking among different parameters of the product, the potential customer, and the existing data on previous customers to carry out the sales process.
Each customer has a set of parameters—age, gender, preferences, profession, etc. The product they are looking for also follows a similar set of choices. DaveAI uses these separate sets of data to generate the best response.
“When one opens the hood of DaveAI, it is nothing but a graph, which we call the ‘sociograph’ that connects these parameters and gives the next best response during the conversation with the potential customer,” says Sriram.
For instance, if an automobile company wishes to use the tech stack of DaveAI, they initially have to upload various assets such as the 3D models of the vehicles and their virtual showroom, and details about their features and performances. Additionally, a creator’s segment within the platform also provides a few pre-built showroom models that be used to generate the metaverse experience.
Within the dashboard of DaveAI users can choose and customise the virtual sales avatar from a set of pre-built avatars.
To configure the conversations, the client uploads the data on the products, their previous clients and the type of conversation they want the avatars to have. This data helps DaveAI run an initial practice run before deploying its final customised stack.
Putting DaveAI to work can take somewhere between four hours to fourteen days depending on the complexity of the deployment. Clients can have a trial run for three months on a limited subscription, after which the services are chargeable.
The annual subscription plan for DaveAI ranges between $15,000 to $25,000 in India while for Middle Eastern clients, it ranges between $25,000 and $150,000.
DaveAI counts US-based tech companies like Unique and Sole Machines as rivals.
As DaveAI continues its operations in the Middle East, a few countries in sight include Qatar, Bahrain, and Egypt. It is also planning to have a physical headquarters in Saudi Arabia in the near future.
(Cover design by Nihar Apte)
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Edited by Akanksha Sarma