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Y Combinator Graduate & HRTech Startup Leena AI Raises $2 Mn Seed Fund

Y Combinator Graduate & HRTech Startup Leena AI Raises $2 Mn Seed Fund

Leena AI has raised funds from the investors from US, Latin America, Indonesia, Middle East and India

Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal (founders of Indian ecommerce platform Snapdeal) also invested in the round

The company plans to use the funds for product development and international expansion

US-based investor Y Combinator’s latest graduate — HRTech startup Leena AI — has raised $2 Mn in a Seed funding round from a host of Silicon Valley investors among others. The Gurugram-based startup was a part of the summer class 2018 of Y Combinator.

Leena AI’s co-founder Adit Jain told Inc42 that the investors include individuals and groups with a rich knowledge base and experience in the startup industry. Jain emphasised that most of their funds are from the Valley, while investors from the Latin America, Indonesia, Middle East, and India also joined the round.

Elad Gil (the well-renowned investor/advisor based who has been associated with companies like Airbnb, Coinbase, Gusto, Instacart, OpenDoor, and Pinterest etc.), FundersClub Fund, Quiet Capital (Lee Linden, Matt Humphrey, and Ray Bradford), Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal (founders of Indian ecommerce platform Snapdeal) and Cathexis Ventures along with a few other angel investors also participated in the funding round,” Jain explained.

The company plans to use the funds for product development and international expansion.

On the experience with Y Combinator, Jain said, “Y Combinator helped us learn how to laser focus on things that are going to make us big and add value to our customers. This is something no one talks about in the ecosystem and is immensely valuable for all YC companies.”

Leena AI: Learnings From The Past

Leena AI team—Adit Jain, Mayank Goyal and Anand Prajapati— began their endeavour in 2015 with ChatterOn, a platform which helped people build their own chatbots. Talking to Inc42, Jain had earlier said that the team learned through its experience with ChatterOn that it’s better to concentrate on a single subject because the underlying machine learning model gets better the more it’s used.
Following this understanding, the team launched Leena AI in August 2017 as a provider of virtual assistants for the workplace to focus on human resources chatbot. As an enterprise virtual agent, currently focusing on HR, Leena AI draws all functionality from ChatterOn, which increases the speed of execution by multi-fold.
The bot — Leena AI — can be integrated into Slack, Skype or Workplace by Facebook. It is built and trained using information in policy documents and by pulling data from various back-end systems like Oracle and SAP.

Leena AI For Employees

At present, Leena AI is processing 1000s of conversations with employees every week. All of this data is fed back into the Neural Networks and makes Leena AI better. It offers more than 12 modules in HR for which it witnesses high traction in Onboarding, HR Services, Transactions and FAQ Automation, Expense Management, Travel Desk Automation, Ideas Bot among others.

At present, the HRtech startup has 12 paying clients including Coca-Cola Vietnam, Pearson, Marico, RPG among others. It further aims to double this number in the next 60 days.

Here are some of the interesting highlights of Leena AI:

  • As an AI-bot, Leena AI is integrated with HRIS to resolve HR services queries faster and improve the employee experience.
  • At the same time, the company claims that it also conducts Dipstick surveys to know the pulse of the organisation with the happiness score and actionable insights for each team.
  • Further, Leena AI also schedules continuous conversations of employees with their Managers and collect Data which then turned into insights for Talent conversations and actions.
  • The Bot also connects employees with Mentors in aspiring positions, suggest skills required and also recommend relevant courses.

The team considers bot platforms from companies like Microsoft, IBM and other FAQ automation platforms like Talla and AskSpoke as their competitors.

With the aim of closing FY18 with 5x revenue, Leena AI is also looking to do experiments in other verticals like IT, admin, finance, procurement, sales and MIS. 

HRTech Startups In India

In the HRTech space, Leena AI competes with startups like Bash, Skillate, EdGE Networks, PeopleStrong, Darwinbox among others. The sector has attracted significant attention from the investors recently.

While, Bash uses AI and machine learning (ML) to improve HR processes and employee experiences with its frontend chat interface also available on platforms like Facebook Messenger, Slack etc; Skillate aims to empower the recruiters to hire the best talent using artificial intelligence and machine learning.

The Indian HRTech industry is estimated to be worth $6.29 Bn (INR 40,000 Cr). In 2017, nearly $2 Bn was invested in HRTech companies globally.

The support and mentorship of Y Combinator, which has been behind globally successful companies like Quora and Airbnb among others, is already helping Leena AI fly high and the new innovations coming from the company will be an interesting watch.