With this funding, we can expect a strategic partnership in the future for the improvements that PolyAI is offering.
PolyAI, the London-based startup has raised $12 million in Series A funding. With the new injection of funds, the startup plans to deploy its technology to customer support contact centers.
The latest funding round for PolyAI was led by Point72 Ventures, which also included Sands Capital Ventures, Entrepreneur First, Amadeus Capital Partners and Passion Capital.
In 2017, Cambridge’s Dialog Systems Group’s Scientist and Engineer team founded the startup. PolyAI provides a machine learning platform for conversational use of artificial intelligence.
PolyAI co-founder Shawn Wen said,
“Our machine learning platform works to empower human agents, not replace them.”
This would mean that in the absence of human agents, AI agents will hand the calls autonomously. It will help the human agents in focusing their time on more edge cases or ones that can bring more value with the involvement of human empathy.
Nikola Mrkšić, the CEO and co-founder of PolyAI, said,
“We plan to pursue very tight integration with contact centers — be it through M&A, investment or other profit-sharing arrangements.”
Nikola Mrkšić was previously at VocalIQ, which builds proprietary software to do improvisation with dialogue interactions in voice-activated systems and was sold to Apple in 2015 for the integration with Siri.
He further added,
“Whichever model we end up pursuing, we want full alignment between PolyAI and contact centers. Too many AI companies have died trying to find favorable software licensing agreements years before their technology was ready for wide-scale deployment. We believe vertical integration is the best way to fast-track the development of our ML (Machine Learning) platform, as well as for PolyAI to stay independent in the long-term.”
The company has not ruled out the possibility of buying a small to the medium-sized contact center or strategic partnership for the improvements in PolyAI offerings and understanding of the working of contact centers.
PolyAI believes that AI can help make more contact centers profitable from the early life of their startup. But this case is yet to be proven.
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