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Jang Capital backs insurance chatbot AskArvi

15 September, 2017

Mumbai-based Haida Technologies Pvt. Ltd, which operates insurance aggregating platform AskArvi.com, has raised an undisclosed amount from a clutch of investors led by US-based early-stage investment fund Jang Capital LLC.

A few American angel investors also participated in the round, AskArvi founder CEO Sushant Reddy told VCCircle.

Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas and Co. advised Jang Capital on the acquisition of a minority stake in Haida Technologies by way of primary share subscription. The transaction closed on 21 August.

AskArvi, which aims to provide a more personalised experience to customers, has built an artificial intelligence-powered virtual assistant to answer questions on various products and policy-related information, besides helping the user raise claims.

Though it is still at a beta stage, the company has already helped over 15,000 customers with products and claim-support information, he claimed. “We are planning to use the money to build our AI platform and acquire the first 1,000 customers for travel and health insurance.”

The startup aims to build a fully-automated platform, which can intelligently help customers in pre- and post-sale support across health, travel, motor and life insurance segments.

AskArvi was launched in January by Reddy, Alok Tiwari, Ashwin Narkhede and Mandar Zope. Reddy is a former CEO of Mumbai-based financial technology company Quantum Phinance; Tiwari had earlier co-founded two other startups, Aptivaa and Xplanr Analytics; Zope is a former CTO of Omnikart; and Narkhede had stints in Quantum Phinance and Omnikart.

On his plans about the next round of funding, Reddy said: “This was our first round of investment. Based on the projected cash burn rates, the capital gives us an 18-month runway.”

Reddy said that the Indian insurance industry has a huge outgo in terms of paying commissions to intermediaries, to the tune of about Rs 45,000 crore, or $7 billion. “If there ever was one industry where we could eliminate the dependence on agents, this has to be it.”

Several startups in the AI space have also raised funds recently. In July, chatbot creation tool Bottr.me had raised an undisclosed amount from 500 Startups, Purvi Capital, Google India’s managing director Rajan Anandan, and Abhishek Gupta from TLabs.

Bangalore-based Niki.ai had raised $2 million in a Series A round from San Francisco-based fund SAP.iO and existing investor Unilazer Ventures.

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

In June, Bangalore-based Boxx.ai had raised $500,000 from Mumbai-based venture capital firm Unicorn India Ventures, besides a clutch of investors.

In May, Vernacular.ai, which offers a multilingual AI platform for businesses, had raised an undisclosed amount from KStart Capital, the seed programme run by venture capital firm Kalaari Capital.

In February, Botworx.ai, a conversational commerce platform, had raised $3 million in seed round led by California-based venture capital firm Costanoa Ventures with support from San Francisco-based angel investment firm S V Angel.

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Jang Capital backs insurance chatbot AskArvi

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