2019 gave us new people, partners, products and a renewed sense of purpose, says Aakrit Vaish
Reliance Jio entered into an agreement with the startup for 87% stake in April last year
Haptik, founded in 2013, lets customers chat with voice assistants to complete daily tasks
The year 2019 started with speculations of Reliance Jio acquiring chatbot startup Haptik. In early April last year, the official announcement was made that Reliance Jio Digital Services Limited had entered into a definitive business transfer agreement with the startup for an 87% stake.
While Reliance Jio was looking to leverage Haptik’s capabilities across various devices and touchpoints in the consumer’s journey, for Haptik this was an opportunity to scale up the business across various product lines.
As Aakrit Vaish, cofounder and CEO, Haptik looked back at the company’s growth trajectory in 2019, he said in a blog post, “2019 has been a breakout year for the company – a year that has given us new people, new partners, new products and a renewed sense of purpose.”
In September 2019, Haptik acquired an AI recommendation chatbot Buzzo.ai for $3 Mn to $4 Mn. Haptik cofounder Swapan Rajdev said in a press statement that the acquisition would allow Haptik to enhance its voice and chat offerings for ecommerce, and also strengthen its multilingual customer service experience.
Rajdev also added that the startup had primarily focused on customer service AI solutions, but given the company’s mission was to enable the paradigm shift from clicks to conversations, commerce was always the next frontier.
Founded in 2013 by Aakrit Vaish and Rajdev, Haptik lets customers chat with voice assistants to complete daily tasks such as online shopping, travel bookings, food delivery among others.
The company has reached more than 100 Mn devices and processed more than 2 Bn conversations to date. Some of the startup’s notable clients and enterprise partners include Samsung, OYO, KFC, Coca-Cola, Tata Group, and Club Mahindra among others.
In the blog post titled, 2019 at Haptik: A Decade in a Year, he spoke about how the previous year was very tough on many grounds, how the company kept its belief on conversational AI, international virtual assistant, Haptik’s IVA platform and strategic partnership with Reliance Industries.
Haptik’s Intelligent Virtual Assistant Platform
Haptik’s Intelligent Virtual Assistant (IVA) solutions have been built from the ground-up to address specific business problems and deliver return on investment across two key functions – sales and customer care.
The blog talked about how a lot of people use the terms ‘chatbots’ and ‘virtual assistants’ interchangeably, but IVA is a far more advanced conversational application. Leveraging the power of advanced Machine Learning and Natural Language Processing technologies, an IVA is more than just a chatbot and voice bot – it engages customers in a conversation, pinpoints their intent, and executes the tasks required to resolve their issues end-to-end, Vaish said.
The blog post also shared the key metrics of Haptik business:
- 200%+ revenue growth year on year for the last 2 years
- 0 Customer churn
- 5 Global Fortune 500 Brands
- 150+ live implementations
- 50 Mn conversations handled annually
Talking about Reliance backing them in 2019, Vaish said that the new structure allows the company to operate with the agility of a startup and the resources of an institution. “It’s been about 9 months since we came together, and the partnership couldn’t have started out better than it has. We continue to learn a ton from the scale and ambition they have and look forward to some exciting developments in the years to come,” Vaish said.
In 2020, apart from the existing business in the US and India Haptik will also be starting operations in South East Asia, Middle East and Europe.