'Chatbots are Becoming the Next Big Thing in the Mobile World' - Sachin Jaiswal, CEO, Niki.ai
The market size of chatbots and AI is huge, and is gradually expanding with every passing day.
Over 2 billion people in the world use messaging apps today. The number is set to grow exponentially with growing internet and smartphone penetration. Also, research shows that messaging apps are the most used ones among all the other apps. If one could take care of all the important payments and bookings right from an interface he or she is used to, the experience can be unbeatable. Sachin Jaiswal, CEO of Niki.ai did an extensive research on it and came up the idea to start an Indian online electronic commerce company in May 2015 which is based out in Bangalore, Karnataka.
In an interaction with Rupal Kaushik of BW Businessworld, Sachin Jaiswal shared his company’s present achievements as well as future plans.
Excerpts from the interview:
Niki.ai started in May 2015, envisions to provide one shop for everything commerce. The services covers a wide spectrum ranging from utility services like recharge and bill payments, travel services like cabs, buses and hotels, food ordering, entertainment services like movies and events, home services like laundry to name a few. It’s a channel partnership model that we work on. We essentially get a commission for every order that we generate for our vendors, who do the fulfillment.
Niki is the first of its kind completely automated AI powered bot which gives personalized recommendations for products and services with ZERO manual intervention. This enables the bot to take the consumers through the ordering process in the most intuitive and personalized way. The process of discovering any service using recommendations based upon your preferences becomes so convenient and simple on chat. That is what makes Niki stand apart from all other players – It is as easy as chatting with a friend.
We are introducing innovative features like multilingual support and voice-recognition. Similarly, even when text messaging has become one of the most frequently used mediums to communicate, there is no denying the fact that talking still remains the most natural way.
Funding & Monetization
We have raised three rounds of funding till now - from Unilazer Ventures, Ratan Tata and Haresh Chawla. We work on channel partnership model. We are venturing into newer segments to expand our service offerings. For the same, we have 10+ services in the pipeline in coming months including groceries, flight bookings, healthcare etc.
Getting the AI bot (Niki) to understand the natural way people converse in India is a big challenge. The algorithms behind the whole ‘understanding and then responding accordingly’ part is pretty complicated and makes use of the most sophisticated of research in Artificial Intelligence, Natural Language Processing and Machine Learning. Thanks to our custom NLP models which are backed by the conversational data of over 2 years now, we can process complicated instructions from the users.
On the customer front, the company has more than 400,000 customers using Niki, and this has been on a steady increase. With a 35% month-on-month revenue growth, the company also has 50+ partners on board, with many more in the pipeline. Strategically, through our chatbot SDK, we have been expanding our portfolio serving a large customer base.
We plan to integrate many more services on our platform so that for most of the needs that a user may have, Niki is the first thing that strikes his mind. We are working towards providing the facilities to improve the experience for a mobile user, we are soon going to add this feature.
However recently, our complete focus has been on the chatbot SDK to enable every business to sell smart with an AI. The integration is already live with HDFC Bank, Oxigen Wallet, Zen Smartphones, Ticketgoose App, Zopo Smartphones to name a few. We are also expanding our services and Niki will soon be your, stockbroker, insurance agent and travel planner.
Market Size & Future of Chatbots and AI
The market size of chatbots and AI is huge, and is gradually expanding with every passing day. According to a report published by Orbis Research, stand-alone Chatbots are expected to contribute 40% of the market by 2022, and Consumer Chatbot applications will continue to lead the market through 2022 with $744M in revenue. However, what makes all the difference is how we ensure that our service offerings are better than the competitors in the segment, and how we can be the preferred choice of the customers.
Chatbots are becoming the next big thing in the Mobile world. Customer service is becoming really fast paced and consumers do not have much time, they want their queries answered and get tasks done immediately. With the use of chatbots companies have taken their part of customer interaction and interface to another level. Many companies have already integrated bots into their apps and are witnessing growth.
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