NEW YORK, NY, Kasisto, the company that makes conversational AI to enable human-like interactions with smart bots and virtual assistants, today announced a $9.2 million Series A funding.
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The round was led by Propel Venture Partners with participation from Mastercard and Commerce Ventures. Seed investors Two Sigma Ventures, DBS Bank, Partnership Fund for New York City, New York Angels and Harvard Business School Alumni Angels of New York also participated in the round. Propel partner Thomas Whiteaker joins the Kasisto board of directors.
Kasisto has established itself as an early leader in conversational AI, and the new capital will be used to scale its business to new markets, grow the engineering and sales teams, and develop partnerships with leading systems integrators to meet the increasing demand for its products. In addition, the investment will be used to enhance and extend KAI, the company's platform that lets companies engage and transact with their customers via natural, intelligent conversations. KAI powers customizable smart bots and virtual assistants and is built on decades of leading AI research from SRI International. Currently, KAI is fluent in finance and licensed to retail banks, credit card companies and wealth management firms. In the future, KAI will be trained to enable conversational experiences in industry verticals beyond finance.
'In 2016 we saw an acceleration in adoption of AI across financial services,' said Propel's Tom Whiteaker. 'Kasisto has the deepest AI platform in the industry and it has allowed them to achieve fast market traction. The company has been on fire and it's been exciting to see how leading financial institutions use KAI to create entirely new banking experiences. I believe the future of financial services depends on how well these companies can engage with their customers on a personal, contextual and seamless level. Kasisto gives them the power of conversation and we're excited about what's ahead.'
'AI is already having a transformative impact on businesses and is permeating many different areas of people's lives,' said Kasisto CEO Zor Gorelov. 'We are working with the leaders in the banking industry around the world and it is exciting to see the powerful new ways that KAI is helping them acquire new customers and interact with existing ones.'
2016 was a high-growth year for Kasisto. DBS Bank licensed KAI to power the virtual assistant in digibank, India's first mobile-only bank, and are furthering their commitment with KAI-powered bots and virtual assistants launching in India, Indonesia and Singapore. The Royal Bank of Canada announced its pilot of KAI Banking on Messaging. Mastercard launched their pilot for MastercardKAI, a bot for banks to drive conversational commerce. Varo Money also chose KAI to power Val, the digital money coach in their new mobile-only bank launching in the US in 2017. This year, Kasisto launched MyKAI, the first smart banking bot available to consumers for free.
Kasisto was founded in 2013 with the vision of enabling companies to engage and transact with their customers through intelligent conversations, anytime, anywhere. Kasisto's conversational AI platform, KAI, offers enterprises a comprehensive AI technology stack combined with industry-specific domain expertise to make bots and virtual assistants well versed in the businesses they serve. As an SRI International spin-off, Kasisto leverages decades of research and development in artificial intelligence. KAI Banking enables financial institutions to add virtual assistants and smart bots to their mobile apps and leading messaging platforms. With an emphasis on great user experience, KAI-powered virtual assistants and smart bots are easy to implement, customize and maintain. For more information visit www.kasisto.com and follow @kasistoinc on Twitter.