Fin-tech startup Active.Ai gets Series A funding from Vertex Ventures, others
Photo Credit: Manni Das/VCCircle

Singapore-based fin-tech startup Active.Ai has raised $8.25 million (Rs 54 crore) in a Series A funding round co-led by Vertex Ventures, Creditease Holdings and Dream Incubator.

Existing investors Kalaari Capital and IDG Ventures India also participated in the round, the startup said in a statement.

As part of the deal, Vertex managing partner Ben Mathias and Kalaari managing director Vani Kola will join the company’s board of directors while Anju Patwardhan from Creditease will join as a board observer. The board already includes IDG’s Sanat Rao.

Active.ai, owned and operated by Active Intelligence Pte. Ltd, was founded in 2016 by Ravi Shankar, Shankar Narayanan and Parikshit Paspulati. The startup uses artificial intelligence (AI) to deliver virtual assistant banking services.

Its AI engine, Triniti, helps banks and other financial institutions to engage with their customers through messaging, voice and Internet of Things devices. This full-stack solution comprises machine learning, natural language processing and natural language generation. The solution could be deployed on-premise or in the cloud depending on the requirements of financial institutions.

“The threat of fundamental disruption is very real in the financial services space, and companies such as Active.ai are making it easy for incumbents to not just remain relevant, but to get ahead in an ever-evolving market,” said Mathias of Vertex, the venture capital arm of Singapore state investment firm Temasek.

Shankar, who is also the startup’s CEO, said that the company will use the funds to expand, hire people for the AI team and focus on building its enterprise product.

The startup was part of Microsoft’s 10th accelerator batch. It claims to be working with some top-tier banks and insurance companies in India, Malaysia, Singapore and North America, and is planning to expand into other verticals like wealth management and securities trading.

Active.ai had raised $3 million in funding from IDG Ventures India and Kalaari Capital in November last year.

A number of AI-based startups have raised funding in the recent past.

Earlier this month, Vadodara-based Phonon Communications Pvt Ltd, which offers automated customer interaction solutions, acquired chatbot startup iDelivr for an undisclosed sum. iDelivr builds industry-specific chatbots that mimic human-like interactions using technologies like AI and natural language processing. The company’s solutions have been adopted by companies in industries such as banking, financial services, insurance and mutual fund.

AirCTO, a human- and artificial intelligence-powered recruitment platform that helps companies hire technical talent, had raised angel funding from former Nokia director Francesco Cara in July.

AI startup Liv.Ai recently mopped up capital from Astarc Ventures. Liv.Ai’s indigenously built speech-to-text software is used across e-commerce enterprises and government utilities, besides companies with a consumer interface.

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