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Luka Lands $4.42M Series A

2016-04-11
SAN FRANCISCO, CA, Free iOS messaging app has raised a Series A funding round of $4.42 million, led by Sherpa Capital.
Luka, the free iOS messaging app, today announces a collection of intuitive AI-powered bots for just about anything in any conversation. The team behind Luka managed to turn A.I. into a rich and social experience. Users simply tell @Luka what they need and he hooks them up with the right bot, allowing them to make dinner reservations, play games, get news and weather updates, make weekend plans and more without leaving a conversation.

The SF-based startup is also announcing a Series A funding round of $4.42 million, led by Sherpa Capital, along with participation from Y Combinator, Ludlow Ventures and Justin Waldron, the co-founder of Zynga. Scott Stanford (Co-Founder, Sherpa Capital) joined the company's board of directors and Brian Pham (Principal, Sherpa Capital) joined as a Board Observer. The new capital will be used primarily for engineering and product development purposes.

Luka is a powerful A.I. platform that enables users to interact with A.I. friends - bots that perform tasks under users' requests and offer them content. It may be the best execution of what will be the next generation of search on mobile. Luka's first collection of A.I. friends search for gifs, images and videos, keep you up-to-date with the news, get weather reports, recommend and book restaurants, play trivia and adventure games with you and more. If you're bored, a bot could play a game with you and your friends in a group chat or recommend fun things to do over the weekend based on your preferences and location.

'The new funding is helping us to execute our vision to bring conversational A.I. into everyday mobile experience,' said Eugenia Kuyda, founder of Luka. 'Today's release is one step in our mission to develop a powerful A.I. platform that offers a seamless and fun experience for users through bots.'

The new version of Luka is available for download today and features:

Intuitive discovery - Have you ever found yourself searching for the right bot to plug into Slack or Kik? With Luka, you don't have to search for the right bots, and you don't even have to remember their names! Tell @Luka what you're after and you'll get hooked up to the right bot.
Easy-to-use experience - Typing is tiring, especially when you're texting a bot. That's why Luka gives you shortcutsŠ-Šwidgets and buttonsŠ-Što speed up your communication with bots.
Unique interface - Our bots are highly intelligent, yet sometimes text is not enough for a bot to help you. That's why we've enriched our bots by adding extra perks to their interfaces. For instance, it's hard to pick a restaurant without looking them up on the mapŠ-Šthat's why our @Foodie bot pulls up a map for you.
'The emergence of bots and conversational interfaces are driving a powerful shift toward messaging-as-platform and Luka is on the leading edge. This year we'll see conversational apps emerge as the dominant platform for everything from shopping and booking travel to entertainment and news,' said Scott Stanford, Co-Founder of Sherpa Capital. 'It's rare to find a team like Luka's with an engineering-based culture capable of rapidly developing impressive features and functionality based on their proprietary AI and computational linguistic technology stack.'

For more information and to download Luka, visit: https://luka.ai/

If you would like to add your bot to Luka, email us at bots@luka.ai.

About Luka

Founded in 2015 by Eugenia Kuyda and Philipp Dudchuk, Luka is a messaging app with a powerful bot platform that lets you discover content and interact with your friends. The company has received $4.42M in total funding to date and is based in San Francisco, CA.
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