Artificial Intelligence (AI) startup Skit, formerly known as Vernacular.ai, has secured $23 Mn as part of its Series B round led by WestBridge Capital. In addition, existing investor Kalaari Capital and Exfinity Ventures, angellist syndicate led by Aaryaman Vir Shah from Prophetic Ventures and Letsventure syndicate led by Sense AI, also participated in the round.
The startup said it will channel the funds to fuel its growth and product evolution by investing in sales & marketing, building delivery capabilities, R&D to speed up innovation and global expansion.
The funding comes on the back of its Series A round in May last year led by Exfinity Ventures and Kalaari Capital, AngelList, along with IAN Fund and LetsVenture. With the current round of funding, the startup has raised a total of $30 Mn.
Launched in 2016 by Sourabh Gupta, Akshay Deshraj and Manoj Sarda, Skit offers SaaS voice automation solutions to enable enterprises to automate their call centre operations.
“This investment comes when we are making strategic inroads into the US and South-East Asian markets. Clients and investors alike have recognised the uniqueness and superiority of our product and continue to show confidence in our growth path,” Gupta said.
“The global contact centre market size is expected to grow steadily and reach a value of $496 Bn by 2027. To address this sizable growth, we are using voice bot innovation and our market observations to personalise caller experiences at customer contact centres, and deliver up to 50% cost reduction and superior customer experience,” he added.
The startup claims that its product, Vernacular Intelligent Voice Assistant (VIVA), can respond to over 16 languages, covering more than 160 dialects and replicating human-like conversations.
Its clientele ranges across diverse sectors such as banking and financial services, including insurance, securities and NBFCs, food and beverage, ecommerce, automotive, and travel and tourism.
The startup said it now plans on doubling down and scaling operations in both Indian and global markets.
According to an earlier Inc42 report, the conversational AI market will touch the $15 Bn mark by 2025. The growth would be primarily enabled by the evolving consumer choice for AI-powered customer service, growing ROI on deployed AI-enabled conversational solutions, and a rise in the number of providers in the market.
Skit, which competes with unicorn Gupshup, Reliance-owned Haptik, Verloop, Yellow.ai and others, aims to address the over $300 Bn voice customer service market globally with VIVA.
The startup claims to have already increased its revenue and customer growth by over 4x in the last year and created a strong partner network across industries such as banking, insurance, ecommerce, consumer durables, travel and logistics, among others.
According to the startup, it has strengthened its workforce by over 6x to prepare for future growth.