Do you remember JARVIS, ‘Iron Man’ Tony Stark’s Intelligent Assistant who not only Controls Everything in Stark’s House but was also his Closest Friend. Something Similar, Far from that Powerful yet, is Available Now to More Ordinary Folks. They are called CHATBOTS

Hi Everyone Today We Will Talk About Chatbot Startups

Chat robot, a computer program that simulates human conversation, or chat, through Artificial Intelligence (AI). Typically, a chatbot will communicate with a real person, but applications are being developed in which 2 chatbots can communicate with each other. Chatbots are used in applications such as E-Commerce Customer Service, Call Centers & Internet Gaming. Chatbots used for these purposes are typically limited to conversations regarding a specialized purpose and not for the entire range of human communication.

A chatbot is also called a chatterbot.

A BUNCH OF STARTUPS IS USING TECH TO MAKE EVERYDAY TASKS MUCH EASIER.

Computer Programs that can have Automated Text Conversations with Users using Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Natural Language Processing. And, as the World Moves Increasingly from Social Networks to Messaging Apps, a slew of Indian Entrepreneurs are Developing that technology to Deliver a Host of Services. Consider this: If you are looking to Buy a Shoe, and if a Shoe Brand has Enabled Itself to Work with a Chat Interface, a Chatbot could Allow you to use that Interface to Chat with the Bot (Abbreviation for Internet Robot), it Would Understand your Requirements, Offer you an Appropriate Selection of Shoes, and you could then Place an Order and Pay for it Right there.

One Can Book Flights & Buy Mobile Phone Or Insurance Plans, Simply by Using a Messaging App & Chatting with a Robot.

Chatbots are Expected also to Provide Enormous Value at the Workplace, where they could Reduce User Effort and Error in Tedious Tasks. For example, when a Form has to be Filled Out with Data in the Correct Fields and Properly Formatted – like in say Medical, Insurance or Financial Forms – it’s much more Convenient to Answer a bot’s Questions and let it Handle the Rest.

Chatbots can also Manage Complex Tasks that Require Cross-Referencing Information and Arriving at Useful Conclusions for the User. A Travelling Family could ask a bot to “Find a Child-Friendly Restaurant within the Next 5 km,” and the bot could deliver that, along with Directions and Ratings.

Bot Developers

Beerud Sheth’s Gupshup, One of the Earliest Messaging Platforms, took a Pivot in 2016 to gupshup.io, a Platform that Provides Key tools required to Build Bots for Different Kinds of Audiences. For Vinay Kumar Sankarapu and his fellow IIT Researcher Deekshith Marla, it was ‘informationgeddon’ that pushed them to start Arya.ai. “Data can be in the form of a Blog, Conversation, Excel Sheets or Images. How does one Sort through all this and Pull Out only what is Relevant,” asks Sankarapu. Arya.ai, which Helps Sectors such as Banking and Healthcare to Simply Processes, became last year the First Indian Startup to be Selected by Paris&Co, a French Innovation Agency, as one of 21 Companies Globally that do Standout Innovations.

E-Com, Travel, Banking Among the Few Early Adopters

Among the Early Adopters of Bots are Travel, E-Commerce and Banking Companies, thanks to the Repeat Value of Transactions, the Large Number of Customers and Daily Use on these Platforms. Flipkart is known to be Investing in Bots.

In Banking, Kotak Mahindra, Axis Bank, UBS are all known to be Testing Chatbots. ICICI recently Announced the Use of Software Robotics. “A Machine Learning- Based Chatbot remembers Every Customer Interaction and also has all the Context and Relevant Data with it to Answer. It is often Able to Predict the Questions the Customer is Going to Ask,” said Senthil Nayagam, CTO of FixNix, a Chennai-based Startup that is Working with Swiss Banking Major UBS on chatbots.

Lenskart uses Bots built by Joe Hukum for Order Tracking, Query logging and Assisted Product Discovery. At Healthians.com, a ‘Test at Home’ Service Startup, Bots are Contributing to almost 12% of Bookings that Comes from the Website. “Chatbots Allow us to Focus the Customer on what is Relevant and Automate Everything else. Even in the Beta Stage, there is Already a Segment of Users who find Chatbots to be More Inviting than the Normal Booking Channel,” said Anuj Mittal, Co-founder of Healthians.com

At Logistics Firm Safexpress, Joe Hukum’s Bots are being Used for Internal Processes. “Starting with Tracking of Waybills (Document issued by a Carrier Giving Details and Instructions Relating to the Shipment of a Consignment of Goods), we will be Evolving this technology to Our Social Media and other Channels. These have Helped us Save Manpower,” said the Safexpress Spokesperson.

Can Chatbots Overcome Apps?

That’s a difficult to question to answer for now. Take Niki.ai, its a Chatbot Based App. They Started with Bill Payments and Mobile Recharges, but Niki now also Handles Cab Bookings, Food Ordering, Home Services and Bus Ticketing. They expect to Soon launch Flight Ticketing, Hotel Booking, Courier Service Booking and Insurance Purchases. If Users find Such Chatbots Effective, they could Make Many Standalone Apps Designed for Specific Purposes.

Danielle Levitas, SVP of Research & Marketing Communication at App Analytics firm App Annie, noted that Messaging Apps had Catapulted in terms of Adoption and Usage, but he thinks Chatbots will be a Complement to Apps. “It will be a feature that Brands will use to Engage and Build Awareness via Messaging Apps that Capture so much of our time, particularly of those Under 30,” he said.

We decided to take a closer look at the Top Emerging Chatbot Start-ups in text chat, across a range of industries, and pick out the most promising.

Here is a list of 20 Chatbot Startups you should look for:

Flow.ai / Netherlands / AI Assistant

Flow.ai says it’s bots can do almost anything imaginable – from taking food orders and accepting payments, to running customer service chats and booking a flight. Flow AI aims to create an AI assistant that can answer your customers questions using chat and can also present customised widgets with rich interaction for example showing your customer an instruction video or a widget with secure payment with Credit Card.

Talla / USA / Automated Assistants for Knowledge Workers

Talla builds intelligent automated assistants for knowledge workers, using machine intelligence and other cutting edge technologies. Users can add Talla to their company’s slack and instantly give everyone an assistant to help them communicate, automate and coordinate on hundreds of tasks every day. Talla integrates with Office 365 and Google Apps documents and calendars allowing users to access everything from the chat interface of their choice.

Twyla / Germany / Customer Support

Twyla is an artificial intelligence messaging platform that puts a smart chatbot in live customer support chat channels, to answer questions, deflect tickets and free up agents. The bots learn from human agents.

TARA (Gradberry Inc) / USA / On-demand Freelancer Teams

TARA has created an automated chatbot to target the rise of freelancer work. To alleviate the burden of recruiters sourcing the right talent for their business the chatbot, named TARA, works as an automated recruiter and project manager that assigns pre-screened contractors to small business projects.

Cyra (fka RECBO)  / UK / Smart AI Recruiting Assistant

Founded in 2016 within the Entrepreneur First accelerator, Cyra is a Smart AI recruiting assistant that uses machine learning and natural language processing techniques to provide employers with “exactly the right candidates” they are looking for. Cyra aims to assist with managing hiring workflow by automating the monotonous tasks involved in recruiting.

Aivo / Argentina / Customer Service Agents

Aivo develops automated software solutions with the goal of changing the way companies and people communicate. Aivo’s first solution is AgentBot, an automated virtual agent that intelligently recognizes, interprets, and responds to client questions across diverse digital channels. Aivo is the leader in Latin American virtual agents with presence in 10 countries. Its services are available in Spanish, English and Portuguese.

ReplyYes / USA / Conversational Commerce

ReplyYes specializes in technology for buying products via text message. The company reached $1 million in sales in 8 months through its first conversational commerce channel, focused on vinyl records. Each person get a daily text message with a personalized vinyl record suggestion. Users can then reply ‘yes’ to purchase the item, or simply respond ‘Like’ or ‘Dislike’ to help the chatbot learn their preferences. If users have more complex requests a human agent takes over to help.

Pypestream / USA / Brand Communication Platform

Pypestream is a secure mobile messaging platform that uses real-time chat to transform the way brands and businesses connect with their customers. Through ‘Pypes’ listed in a searchable catalogue, businesses are provided with a direct connection to their customers for increased engagement, automated customer service, and in-message payment processing. The company aims to provide the ultimate customer engagement tool, including using proprietary AI and chatbot technology to allow conversations at scale.

BetterBrand / UK / Marketing

BetterBrand says it is the first management platform of its kind for publishers and marketers to create and scale chat campaigns across multiple chat apps simultaneously. Powered by state-of-the-art chatbot technology, the company helps customers fuel the conversation with their audiences. A full suite of conversational templates allows users to upload all content types to chat campaigns with the click of a button.

Demisto / USA / Security Operations & Incident Management

Demisto Enterprise is a Bot-powered security ChatOps platform to automate and streamline security operations and incident management processes. With Demisto, security analysts can scale their time and effort during incident investigation stages while sharing knowledge and working collaboratively for faster resolution.

DigitalGenius / UK / Customer Service

DigitalGenius brings practical applications of artificial intelligence into the customer service operations of global companies. Its Human+AI Customer Service Platform combines human intellect and artificial intelligence wit the aim of enabling companies to live up to and exceed rising consumer expectations. At its core are deep learning algorithms, which are trained on historical customer service transcripts and integrated directly into the contact center’s existing software.

Semantic Machines / USA / Conversational Computing Technology

Semantic Machines says it is developing the fundamental AI technology needed to make conversational computing a reality. It’s team was involved in building core AI technology for Siri and Google Now. Semantic Machines says it is developing a new, language-independent technology platform that goes beyond understanding commands to understanding conversations. Use cases — using text or voice — include: E-Commerce; Travel; Concierge; Calendar; Business; Search; Productivity; and Automotive.

Spixii / UK / Insurance Agent

Spixii is an automated insurance agent dedicated to making insurance quicker, easier and more personal. With a simple conversation, the company wants to allow users to instantly find the insurance that is right for them. No more form-filling, no more confusing jargon.

Assist Inc / USA / Aggregated APIs to Interact with a Range of Services

The Assist platform powers businesses on all messaging platforms by aggregating APIs and letting you text to interact with a range of services. Send a message to Assist and from there you can book reservations, order tickets, book hotels, send flowers, hire a courier, get food delivered, and more all by simply having a conversation. Some of the company’s underlying partners include Opentable, Resy, Seamless, Grubhub, Foursquare, Uber, Postmates, Stubhub, and FloristOne. Assist is available on Facebook Messenger, SMS, Slack, and Telegram.

JiffyBots / USA / Bots for Brands

JiffyBots builds custom bots for brands designed to transform the way people and organizations interact. JiffyBots are used for intelligent messaging, in-app conversations, sales automation, intelligent Q&A, scheduling appointments, employee onboarding, accelerating customer service, call center automation, image/doc retrieval, broadcasting updates, polling databases, education assistance, entertainment, and more.

Myra Labs / USA / Conversational AI as a Service

Myra Labs provides conversational AI as a service. Backed by investors including Slack, Myra Labs says it brings the latest in natural language and conversational AI to businesses building next-generation smart applications.

Hutoma / UK / Digital Employees

Hutoma helps companies reduce staffing costs by deploying artificially intelligent programs that act and behave like their human counterparts but are significantly cheaper and infinitely scalable. Hutoma utilizes a proprietary deep learning technology to autonomously ingest company information (product info, support chat logs, etc.) and create a custom made conversational AI that can have meaningful conversations with end user via text or voice.

Helloumi / Spain / Real-time Customer Messaging

Helloumi allows you to use real-time messaging to interact with your customers and get closer to them, in a way that is faster than email and more effective and efficient than calling. Helloumi to create your own automatic responses system using chatbots, without technical experience. The company describes it as Artificial Intelligence (AI) with a human touch.

PullString / USA / Computer Conversation with Entertainment Characters

PullString is an entertainment and technology company that combines art and science to enable computer conversation with characters. The company says its artists and engineers are defining an entirely new category of entertainment that lets characters and audiences talk to each other for the first time. The company’s content authoring software and AI platform powers the process that some of the world’s leading entertainment and technology companies use to create conversations with digital and physical characters.

Polly (by Subcurrent) / USA / Employee Happiness

Polly.ai is utilizing chatbots to help managers assess employee happiness. Its chatbot product integrates with popular office collaboration app Slack and lets managers poll employees on a one-time or recurring basis. The chatbot automatically collects feedback and data, tracking trends to provide insights for employers. Polly measures factors such as team happiness, meeting effectiveness, and product health.

Let’s read on to the most popular Chatbots Making Headlines from India that has been automating the tasks you otherwise would have spent hours in doing.

Here is a list of 10 Indian Chatbot Startups you should look for:

AISHA by Micromax

This voice assistant by Micromax is our very own Indianized version of Siri. It can perform tasks like initiating a Google search, giving movie reviews, make calls, read news, view stalk market details and much more. Artificial Intelligence Speech Handset Assistant is all about AI in its backend that makes it one of the most popular bots in India.

Engazify Bot

Founded by Purva Surse and Siddharth Shekhawat, Engazify Bot is a faster and better way to appreciate your teammates, capture all your team wins, and save it for everyone to see. It fosters a culture of peer recognition by appreciating their work and celebrating the same by gamifying the whole experience. It lets you chat with him, ask questions or give feedback just like any other friend in your team.

GoHero.ai

Founded by Snehal Dhruve and Bineet Desai, this AI powered personal travel agent is available across 9 platforms such as Facebook Messenger, Telegram, Skype. It assists you in booking flight, hotel, taxis etc. It integrates with messaging apps to use sophisticated algorithms and understand traveller’s preference. The chat screen allows the users can review pricing and availability of tickets. The founders intend to look at sectors such as Finance & Education once they have mastered travel.

Gupshup

One of the most advanced bots and messaging platforms, it enables developers to quickly and easily build, test, deploy and manage chatbots across all messaging channels. It offers application programming interfaces, with which software programs can interact with each other for all the popular messaging platforms, including SMS, Facebook Messenger, Slack, Telegram and Teamchat.

ixibaba by ixigo

A chatbot that can answer all your travel queries brought to you by Aloke Bajpai Rajnish Kumars Gurgaon based ixigo is the perfect example of how companies are improving on interacting with customers and enhancing customer experience. This AI bot can provide quick and quirky answers to all travel related queries much faster and instantaneously than a human could. Travellers can talk about flights, hotels, cabs, vacation destination etc. It also provides real-time information about weather, travel routes, flight timings, train status and more.

MagicX

One of the first bots on the facebook messenger, MagicX lets you carry day-to-day tasks like bill payments, recharge, food ordering, flight booking and other services via chat, enabled off course by AI. It has a tendency of learning more from human interaction, giving a sense of more human like responses, but highly scalable at the same time. It has tie-ups with more than 20 e-commerce, recharge, grocery, travel and bill payment platforms.

Niki.ai

Niki.ai is developing a personal shopping assistant chatbot that automates end-to-end ordering through chat. Founded by Nitin Babel, Sachin Jaiswal, Keshav Prawasi and Shishir Modi. Niki is fully functional AI-powered bot that can perform a variety of tasks ranging from mobile recharge pre-paid, post-paid or DTH recharge to paying electricity bills, booking a cab, getting a laundry or ordering a burger from burger king, this chatbot assists you in all of it. Celebrating its inception in the year 2015, Niki has attracted funding from the likes of Tata and Ronnie Screwvala. This fully automated chatbot works up on the concept of artificial intelligence with no human intervention.

The company aspires to be a one-stop destination for all of purchasing.

Recharge Bot by Payjo

Payjo is India’s first messenger bot that lets you recharge your phone, sets reminder for recharge and shows suitable plans for your number. In short, Recharge Bot supports intelligent balance reminders for prepaid phones. The biggest advantage of this chatbot is its availability languages other than English. It currently supports Hindi, Tamil, Telegu and Kannada.

Skedool

Launched by Deepti Yenireddy and Naveen Varma Alluri, it aims at automating repetitive everyday tasks for business executives, sales and recruiting professionals. A blend of artificial and human intelligence, it handles your B2B scheduling and calendar management. It has raised substantial amount of funding from prominent Silicon Valley and Indian technology investors including Kludein LLC, Narayan Ramachandran and Pranav Pai, investing on behalf of Mohandas Pai among others.

The AI assistant is named as Alex and uses natural language processing and machine learning supervised by humans to enable customers to communicate with the service via e­mail just as they would with a human executive assistant.

Yana

With the founders claiming this chatbot to be a 100% automated artificial intelligence engine with no human interference, YANA help users to book cabs, order groceries, etc. The Chabot’s intelligence has been developed by its more than 50,000 messages that it has received over time.

Many of the Chatbots are Still Some Way Away from Full Automation, Which Reduces their Effectiveness.

This is perhaps why some of these Consumer Bots have few Downloads and or have Mediocre Ratings. Most Chatbots in India are Still Dependent on Humans to Answer Detailed and Complex Queries. With the Development of Natural Language Processing and AI, the Journey to Achieving Complete Automation could be Short.

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