Ada raises $14 million to help companies develop their own customer service chatbots

Thanks to VentureBeat

Ada, a Canada-based startup that is setting out to help companies develop their own automated customer service tools, has raised CAD$19 million (USD$14 million) in a series A round of funding led by New York-based VC firm FirstMark Capital, with participation from Leaders Fund, Burst Capital, Bessemer, Version One, and computer scientist Barney Pell.

Founded out of Toronto in 2016, Ada develops chatbots and related artificial intelligence (AI) software to help companies manage inbound customer queries. The company shouldn’t be confused with Berlin-based Ada Health, which also works in the chatbot realm.

Automated chats

The chatbot market was pegged at around $370 million last year, according to some reports, though it could become a $2 billion industry by 2024. Indeed, chatbots are now permeating many facets of industry, and customer contact centers are an obvious conduit for such technology to thrive.

Mobile-first insurance carrier Lemonade has raised bucketloads of cash for a platform that uses bots to automate insurance claims from customers, while London-based DigitalGenius has also raised big to help companies train their own chatbots using transcripts from historical customer service interactions. Elsewhere, Conversica recently raised $31 million to grow its conversational AI assistant that helps sales teams convert in-bound leads through automated conversations, while LivePerson snapped up conversational AI startup Conversable.

The idea of boosting profits by shrinking call centers seems to be gaining ground. Ada said it helps companies automate up to 70 percent of their customer interactions, saving “millions of dollars” in the process, with teams better resourced to allocate agents to focus on things that chatbots may not be suited to, such as more complex in-bound questions and proactive sales.

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