Info-tech

Vernacular.ai raises $5.1 million in Series A

Sangeetha Chengappa Bengaluru | Updated on May 06, 2020 Published on May 06, 2020

Fresh capital to fund expansion in US and South-East Asia, to enhance R&D

Vernacular.ai, an AI-first SaaS business, announced that it has received a Series A investment of $5.1 million, led by Exfinity Ventures. Kalaari Capital, AngelList, IAN Fund and LetsVenture also participated in the round.

The fresh capital will be used to fund the company’s global expansion into South-East Asia and the US, and towards R&D to further enhance its proprietary AI-based voice automation platform.

Founded in 2017 in Bengaluru by two IIT Roorkee graduates, Sourabh Gupta and Akshay Deshraj, along with founding team members Prateek Gupta, Pravendra Singh and Abhinav Tushar, Vernacular.ai’s AI-based, voice automation platform, VIVA, helps automate 80 per cent of calls handled by a call centre and reduces agents’ average call handling time by 30 per cent.

This is done by utilising cutting-edge speech recognition and Natural Language Understanding (NLU) technology to provide superior customer experiences across diverse sectors to enterprise clients.

The start-up’s suite of speech and language solutions is built on top of VASR (Vernacular Automated Speech Recognition), which enables enterprises to convert audio to text by applying neural network models in an easy-to-use API. The API recognises over 160 dialects in 10 different Indian languages to support the enterprise user base.

Towards greater automation

“As we evolve our voice AI platform - VIVA and expand into newer markets, we will continue to disrupt the legacy contact centre model. Over the last decade, businesses across industries have been competing to deliver a personalised experience and enhance customer engagement. Yet, when it comes to resolving a simple customer service call, it can sometimes take over 15 minutes. Businesses are now waking up to the impact of these delays on their bottom lines, and are reviewing and future-proofing their contact centres. Our solution fits right in and can help enterprises automate up to 80 per cent of call centre operations. We are happy to see increased investor confidence in our model,” said Sourabh Gupta, co-founder and CEO, at Vernacular.ai.

The start-up is addressing a $6-billion market opportunity in Asia Pacific and a $1-billion market opportunity in India for its contact centre solution.

Chinnu Senthilkumar, General Partner at Exfinity Ventures, said, “Vernacular.ai’s VIVA platform, a Next-Gen Voice AI platform, offers a true “Digital Transformation” experience to its BFSI and enterprise customers. VIVA completely eliminates the need for capex-intensive legacy IVR solutions, thus offering a superior cost-efficiency to its customers, combined with an uninterrupted 24x7 support and reach. Its scalable, modularised and end-to-end solutions are uniquely positioned to address the growing unmet needs of the South Asian multilingual market. We look forward to some exciting new business opportunities as they grow and expand into a leading AI-first SaaS business.”

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Published on May 06, 2020
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