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Maruti Suzuki Acquires 12.5% Stake In AI Startup Sociograph To Improve Digital Sales Experience

Maruti Suzuki Acquires 12.5% Stake In AI Startup Sociograph To Improve Digital Sales Experience

The INR 2 Cr investment was made through Maruti Suzuki’s MAIL initiative that supports startups developing mobility solutions for the automotive industry

Maruti Suzuki plans to use Sociograph’s visual AI platform, named Dave.AI, to improve the digital sales experience of its customers

Sociograph offers a virtual sales experience through Dave.AI. It currently offers services to companies in banking, retail and automotive sectors

Automobile giant Maruti Suzuki has acquired a 12.5% stake in Bengaluru-based AI startup Sociograph Solutions Pvt Ltd  for around INR 2 Cr. 

The investment was made through Maruti Suzuki’s MAIL initiative that supports startups developing mobility solutions for the automotive industry, the carmaker said in a statement. 

Maruti Suzuki plans to use Sociograph’s visual artificial intelligence (AI) platform, named Dave.AI, to improve the digital sales experience for its customers. 

“Our investment in SSPL demonstrates our resolve towards improving business metrics using contemporary technology. The Maruti Suzuki Innovation Fund is set up with an aim to invest in early-stage startups which are part of Maruti Suzuki programs. Our endeavour to support the startup ecosystem in the country is aligned to the Indian government StartupIndia initiative.” Hisashi Takeuchi, managing director and CEO of Maruti Suzuki said on the acquisition. 

Founded in 2016 by Sriram P H, Ashok Balasundaram and G. Ananthakrishnan, Sociograph offers a virtual sales experience through its AI platform Dave.AI. The startup currently offers its services to companies in banking, retail and automotive sectors.  

Dave.AI provides 3D visualisation that helps enhance customer experience. It essentially analyses customers’ journey and on the basis of it, offers customised products to them thereby, streamlining their experience and driving sales.

Dave.AI was also a winner of the second cohort of Maruti Suzuki’s Mobility and Automobile Innovation Lab (MAIL) program, the statement added. 

Sriram and Ananthakrishnan said that the startup witnessed a 300% growth in its revenue post its collaboration with Maruti Suzuki under the MAIL program. It is on track to achieve $1 Mn of annual revenue in the ongoing financial year, they added.

Sociograph had received $500K in its pre-Series A funding round from Maruti Suzuki India Ltd, GHV and Hakuhodo Inc, Mumbai Angels Network and IIIT Seed fund. 

The startup counts Maruti Suzuki, Hero MotoCorp, BPCL, Landmark Group, Raymond, and Karnataka Bank among its customers. It competes with the likes of Gupshup, Navikenz, Active.Ai, AskSid in the Indian AI market. 

As per an IDC report, the country’s AI sector is poised to reach $7.8 Bn, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 20.2% by 2025. 

The sector has grown rapidly in the last few years as companies are heavily investing in enhancing customer experience, driving their sales as well as building virtual presence to cope with pandemic-led changes.Earlier this year, AI startup Navikenz raised $4 Mn, while Docsumo got a funding of $3.5 Mn. Humantic AI also secured $1.5 Mn in funding.

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