The AI assistant that can help Asia's richest man to take on Alexa and Siri
Haptik founders will help add artificial intelligence-powered digital assistants in many languages to the company's services to start with.
The chat-bot company Aakrit Vaish, 32, co-founded with his partner at the University of Illinois almost ran out of cash about four years ago after an investor changed his mind at the last moment. Luckily, they found another just in time, helping Haptik Infotech Pvt. Ltd. survive. The start up now will help boost the bet of the richest man in Asia to take on Siri and Alexa in India.
Reliance Jio Digital Services Ltd., part of the telecom company of billionaire Mukesh Ambani, bought 87 percent in the company for Rs 700 crore. The founders and employees of Haptik will take care of the rest. It is the largest such agreement involving a service backed by artificial intelligence in India.
The acquisition fits with the technological empire that Ambani is building, a bet on the Indian Internet economy that, according to a report by Boston Consulting Group-TiE, is estimated to increase to twice its size to $ 250 billion by 2020. Its Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd., which increased data rates in the second largest telecom market in the world, offers everything from high-speed data and low-cost phones to online purchases, and streaming services, music and video to more than 280 million users. For starters, Haptik will help add digital artificial intelligence assistants in multiple languages to the company's services.
For the type of service that Reliance Jio is building, they need a robust customer management system to increase their reach and eliminate any type of barrier, such as language, said Hanish Bhatia, a senior analyst at Counterpoint Research. "Haptik removes some of the barriers and complements their product strategy and will help Jio to widen its reach."
Queries sent by email to Reliance Industries Ltd., the parent company of Reliance Jio, remained unanswered.
Vaish confirmed that the focus will be on how conversational artificial intelligence could be used in the Reliance Jio offerings. "For Saavn (music streaming service), it might make sense to put some of our capabilities, and the same goes for other products on the Reliance platforms,"
BloombergQuint over the phone. "The whole idea behind the investment by Reliance is to make things work together."