Recently, Emotibot announced the completion of the $45 million series B+ financing on its four-year establishment. This round was co-led by an important strategic partner and V FUND and Lingfeng Capital, followed by Keywise Capital, Zhong An Asset Management, Trend Investment, Puhua Capital, and VIA Capital.
Before founding Emotibot, Kenny Chien, who believes in emotional intelligence prevails artificial intelligence, has the ambition to develop a sociable chatbot with emotional understanding, just like Samantha in the movie Her, and to provide her to everyone and every business. Since then, Emotibot has created a set of multi-use case human-device interactive technology solutions combing voice, semantics, and emotional understanding together to provide an intelligent and more human-like interactive experience deployed in many enterprises serving their customers with delightful user experiences, rather than like other cold and mechanic text chatbots.
With the mission of developing emotional robot, Emotibot was founded in 2015 by Kenny Chien, the former Partner Director of Engineering at Microsoft, who possesses extensive experiences in Conversational AI and Search Technology in multiple languages and led the Xiaoice and Asian Cortanta Product development, a pioneer in new AI chatbot. Emotibot is committed to developing technologies and systems on Natural Language Understanding, Automatic Speech Recognition, Computer Vision, and Multimodal Interaction with Emotional Understanding. With over 4 years of development and commercialization, it has grown to become a unique AI company focusing on all three human-device interaction channels, voice, text, and vision.
As the goal to scale up the business and capture major market share in the area of NLP and Emotional Intelligence, Emotibot has developed a full-blown machine-learning based Conversational AI platform called Bot Factory™, which provides easy-to-customize chatbot applications with powerful and flexible chatbot platform, tools, and development studio, enabling customers to quickly build and deploy machine learning-based chatbot applications with no coding required. With Bot Factory™ consisting of the set of core NLP, Conversational AI, and Artificial Emotional Intelligence technologies, as well as all of the foundational components of NLP, Multi-Turn Contextual Dialog Flow Management, Intent Engine, Knowledge and Inference Engine, Emotion Engine, ASR & TTS, Emotibot has helped many marquee companies in China in various industries successfully deploy cost-saving and productivity-improving solution. Furthermore, Emotibot rolled out AI Sales Assistant, which helps sales force in selling with more effective selling pitch and providing real-time product and knowledge for sales pitch. With over 4 years of development, Emotibot has built Bot Factory™, a machines-learning based robot composite applications development suite, empowering 2B and 2C customers to build a chatbot with no coding required, companies like Huawei, Oppo, China Mobile, SF Eexpress, VIP Shop, major banks, insurance companies, retail and e-commerce, manufacturing companies, and so on, are all customers of Bot Factory™.
With the new funding, Emotibot will invest and focus on:
- Innovating and evolving NLP and Artificial Emotional Computing technologies for multiple languages and developing virtual assistants with more advanced multimodal interaction;
- Developing a partner ecosystem and establishing a channel partner network to expand the NLP and Multimodal applications market share, accelerating the standardization of Bot Factory™ platform to empower partners to develop and deploy AI solutions for both large and medium sized companies across industries.
Lead the Innovation in Conversational AI and Artificial Emotional Intelligence
In order for an AI technology-driven company to prevail, one must combine algorithmic research with product engineering and develop products on a large-scale basis. On top of that, one must be able to go to market in an efficient and scalable fashion. And that is what Emotibot has achieved in the last four years. With more and more successful deployments in major companies in China across industries, Emotibot has established its reputation as the leading Conversational AI and Emotional Intelligence provider. She has also developed several competitive advantages.
Competitive advantage #1: in the lead of NLP track
With its own Chinese and multilingual NLP, multi-modal emotion recognition, and dialogue management, Emotibot successfully developed and launched speech recognition products, ASR and TTS, with the error rate (in real world applications) lower than the major players in the industry. Kenny, the founder and CEO, believes that the key point of AI breakthrough lies in natural language understanding. With that, only through compositing machine learning and linguistics, companies that can combine NLP and Conversational AI are more promising to take the lead. After four years of progressing and polishing, it has been ranked in the first echelon of the NLP track and been listed in the report “Cool Vendors in Conversational AI in APAC.”
Competitive advantage #2: full-duplex multi-scenario AI Contact Center (AICC)
For an AI technology company to sustain, it must combine engineering and algorithmic tasks and offer a standardized and extensible platform which enables multiple use case applications development, and that is what Emotibot has accomplished.
Emotibot AI Contact Center (AICC) is a multi-scenario AI system solution, equipped with the capabilities of full-duplex voice recognition, voice emotion, dialogue system with contextual and multi-turn capabilities, real-time knowledge recommendation for CSR, and an automatic user profile generation system. Emotibot AICC consists of Smart IVR, Speech and Dialog Quality Inspection, CSR Assistant, Customer Profile Generator, Phone Bot for automatic outbound call, CSR Training Bot, and An Insight System.
As a complete call center solution, Emotibot AICC now serves a diverse range of industries, covering banking, insurance, securities, retail, education, healthcare, smart IoT, RPA and other areas, empowering the development of intelligence in full range of industries.
Competitive advantage #3: an open platform Bot Factory™
Emotibot Bot Factory™ is a full-stack AI platform with a development studio that allows users to build a chatbot easily and deploy quickly, equipped with machine learning models and algorithms, and extensible programming and training.
Major Benefits of Bot Factory™:
- Ready and easy to use, quick to develop; go online with one-click training.
- Lower total cost of ownership of AI capabilities for customers.
- AI platform capabilities are highly customizable, ready-to-use, no code is required.
The practicality of Bot Factory™ Do-It-Yourself allows companies to develop their own robots on one cohesive AI platform. There are already successful cases where enterprises create more than 100 chatbots and RPA bots on top of Bot Factory™. Not only can more companies benefit from the application of AI technology, but also, they significantly reduce maintenance and IT costs.
As an important customer of Emotibot, Huawei has successfully adopted Bot Factory™ platform to build multi-turn dialogue scenarios to help their employees with an employee assistant handing administration matters such as financial reimbursement, shuttle schedule inquiry, IT helpdesk Q&A, and many outer-facing customer service chatbots, providing employees with a fast, unified and timely communication channel, and thoughtful, meticulous staff service.
On IoT, Emotibot provides the virtual assistant for Huawei smart speakers, a chatbot that can chat like a companion, with emotional intelligence. Not only with caring and friendly feature, Emotibot also provides smart filters that ensure the chatbot will not say the things she should not say, and can get smarter over time.
Four Years of Swords Grinding – Lead the Development of Conversational AI
Ms. Xiong, the co-founding partner of V FUND, one of the lead investors of this round, said: “Semantic recognition is the most promising and explosive segment of the AI field, but with a technical threshold. As the most advanced technology leader in the field, Emotibot has uniquely developed a rich set of underlying technologies with a number of patents, allowing her establishing competitive and realize AI empowerment across domains and scenarios. Before founding Emotibot, Kenny, the founder, was the former Partner Engineering Director of Microsoft, his extensive experience in AI and IT is the key to the success of building the underlying technical capabilities, engineering capabilities and product implementation capabilities, enabling the company to go deeper in the industry and win the top customers in each vertical segment. Solid underlying technology, a team with both commercial and engineering capabilities, and a clear business model are what V FUND considered important factors when investing on AI companies.”
Dr. Shu, the partner of co-lead investor from Lingfeng Capital, said: “Lingfeng Capital has great expectations of the future of Emotibot. Firstly, it has a talented and dedicated team where core members are all focusing on the same goal and their capabilities and experiences match very well. Secondly, the company pays great attention to the R&D of underlying technology, which builds strong competitive advantages. The intelligent full-stack AI platform has already been adopted by many large enterprises in various verticals, with proven records in productivity improvement, cost saving, and customer satisfaction, said by the customers during our interviews. We believe that for an AI company to succeed in scaling the business, she needs a platform strategy and multiple use case solutions for multiple industries, and that is what Emotibot has done. Thirdly, in the upcoming 5G era, NLP technology will play an important role in more and more human-device interaction, institutional and personal interaction, and process intelligence in various organizations. Our team is looking forward to working with the Emotibot management team and other investors to concentrate resources and continue to innovate to create value for the company and industry.”
With platform standardization, the underlying technology modularization, and machine learning and transfer learning capabilities developed over time, Emotibot has been able to scale her business across industries with multiple use case, establishing partnerships with many benchmark enterprises, including Huawei, OPPO, Union Pay, China Construction Bank, and Bank of Communications. China Merchants Bank, China Minsheng Bank, Ping An Insurance, Ecovacs, CIIC, CITS AMEX, Tongcheng Yilong, China Pacific Insurance, Huaxia Life Insurance, Aegon THTF Life Insurance, Bohai Life Insurance, Huatai Securities, Evergrande Real Estate, Vanke, Country Garden, CGNPC, Sany Heavy Industry, Ford, Foxconn, UBTECH, Vipshop, China Mobile, Changhong TV, Sanofi, ONLY EDU, etc.
Emotibot will continue to innovate and invest in developing advanced AI capabilities, building more industrial AI scenarios into Bot Factory™ platform, developing an artificial emotional robot ecosystem together with technology partners, and empowering enterprises to develop and deploy a lot more conversational AI applications quickly, safely, with lower TCO.