Cognicor Eyes Potential Market of Around $30-40B
Cognicor has pending patents in user learning and issue resolution using its own machine learning and cognitive algorithms.
Cognicor was founded in 2012 in Artificial Intelligence Institute in Barcelona, Spain. It was cofounded by Dr Sindhu Joseph and Rosh Cherian. Cognicor came out of founder, Dr Sindhu’s research thesis about the application of cognitive science in automated user query resolution. Cognicor has pending patents in user learning and issue resolution using its own machine learning and cognitive algorithms.
BWDisrupt interacted with Founder Sindhu Joseph, CEO & Co-Founder; along with other core team members Rosh Cherian, CTO & Co-founder; Jyothis KS, Chief Operating officer to know more about their vision for the startup in the upcoming months.
Excerpts from the interview-
How was it started?
Cognicor started in Artificial intelligence institute in Barcelona , Spain. It started as a continuation of founder, Dr Sindhu Joseph’s thesis studies in the University. Research was mostly around user learning and query resolution using cognitive capabilities.
Tell us how it stands out from other existing players in the space?
Cognicor virtual assistant platform is very Cognitive - understands and responds like a human. Our virtual agent is made possible by Cognicor’s own patent pending natural language processing capabilities, machine learning and cognitive capabilities. This helps in understanding the user intent and context of discussion like a human. While input side understands these, pattern based historical inferences and data point accesses help in framing and responding like a human.
Share what is its unique selling proposition?
While underlying technology is different from many existing platforms available today, there are many user scenarios where we are different from platforms that are available today. Cognicor platform has the capability of tracking and maintaining multiple intents and contexts. As Cognicor owns the platform end to end, it has the capability of adapting its core AI model itself for the requirements of every enterprise. Flexibility and agility of the platform is something that Cognicor differentiates itself from many of the existing solutions with. While a substantial part of the smaller scale virtual assistant eco system uses cognitive APIs from the bigger standard platforms and this dependency restricts the flexibility of these players too apart from the bigger ones. While Cognicor provides enterprise grade cognitive platforms, it provides the same at a more optimal price than any comparable platforms.
What is its funding status as of now?
We are seed funded by Wyra, Telefonica accelerator and a select set of angels from Europe. We have not taken any further funding from the market post that yet. And venture is pretty much self funded at this stage. And we will be looking at further investments in couple of quarters.
What is the monetization model you are employing currently?
Cognicor virtual assistant service is sold as a “SaaS” service. Most of the implementations follow a pilot model and all pilots are paid pilots. AI platforms do production quality pilots except for final production system integrations as the responses have to be highly accurate and cognitive. Being a SaaS model, it provides the flexibility of charging based on session volumes and users instead of paying any amount in advance and in bulk.
What kind of traction is the startup getting?
Cognicor has been widely deployed globally now. In India, financial institutions as Federal Bank, Tata Capital, ICICI Lombard etc use Cognicor solution. While leading retail banks like OCBC bank and AIA insurance use tin South East Asia, global IT and digital services major AtoS has selected Cognicor for its IT help desk automation efforts globally. Also, many financial companies in US are closing down on the pilot use cases for Cognicor post piloting with many of the leading global platforms
What are your future plans?
Cognicor will continue to focus in finance, telecom and IT help desk management automation for now. Many use cases are being added to these domains as Cognicor rolls the platform out to many more clients. A recent feature under development is based on a few insurance client’s requirement for an underwriting solution - "Ask an Underwriter". With time, focus will increase to other domains. We expect the employee base to double by the end of the year.
Tell us about your Marketing plans?
Our biggest marketers have been our clients. This talks about the quality of the product Cognicor has delivered and client satisfaction that has been there. While there are no huge marketing campaigns being planned now, we will continue to be an active part of AI and customer service events and interest groups. Also, Cognicor has been very active with finch and insure tech interest groups and accelerators in many parts of the world.
What is the Challenges faced initially?
Adoption of AI systems into main line processes was one of the initial challenges that we faced. But starting last quarter of 2016, we have been seeing a lot more inbound interest for the platform. Adoption of AI platforms and virtual assistants are the inflexion point now and customer adoption has been at a rate that is stretching our resource capabilities today. Due to very efficient processes and systems built by Cognicor team, platform scaling has not been issue and client growth is optimally supported by current but growing engineering strength. Being an enterprise product, sales approval and adoption time cycles are slightly longer.
What is the Market size & opportunity you are eyeing?
Based on many market research reports that we have seen, it is a $15 Billion USD plus opportunity for virtual assistants alone. Along with the same, we have been working on many other process automation initiatives. Exact market size of the same is yet to be accurately seen any where. Also, Forrester report says that around 70% of the customer interactions will be automated and self served. Based on many of these, we are looking at a potential market that is approximately size around $30-$40B USD.
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