Airtel buys 10% stake in conversational AI startup Voicezen
New Delhi, May 21 2020 - Bharti Airtel on Thursday said that it has acquired a 10 per cent stake in Voicezen, an early stage startup focused on conversational AI technologies.
The acquisition has been made by the company under its fast expanding Airtel Startup Accelerator Programme, the company said in regulatory filing.
"Acquisition of the equity shares of investee company is done at mutually agreed pre money enterprise valuation. The said valuation is not disclosed herein due to reasons of confidentiality," it said.
Gurugram-based Voicezen has been working on developing advanced solutions that leverage machine learning, AI, speech to text and voice technologies to offer real time analytics to help brands serve customers better.
"The investment will give Airtel preferred access to Voicezen's technologies, which can be deployed across its customer touch points in multiple languages. These intelligent solutions will offer real time analytics and insights to make Airtel's conversations with its customers more engaging and frictionless and enable faster resolution. It will also allow Airtel to make contextual offers to customers based on real time conversations," the filing said.
Voicezen is the third startup to become a part of the Airtel Startup Accelerator Programme.
Adarsh Nair, Chief Product Officer, Bharti Airtel said: "Voicezen has built some promising products that are very relevant for a market like India. As part of its strategy to deliver a highly differentiated service experience to its customers, Bharti Airtel has acquired a strategic stake in Voicezen, an early stage start-up focused on conversational AI technologies."
Apurba Nath, Founder of Voicezen, said that the startup helps brands deliver a better customer experience in Indian languages using 'Conversational AI'. "Having worked on AI solutions in the past, Voicezen knew what works well in a lab most often doesn't work in the real world, because either the training data is not large and relevant or the problem has little business significance," he added.
"Our partnership with Airtel helps us solve these challenges. With this strategic investment, we will work even more closely with them to continuously improve our AI models and build out an enterprise grade, battle hardened product that will make customer interactions more efficient, especially in this post-Covid world where business operations are facing large disruptions," he said.