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Pi Ventures leads pre-Series A investment in FrontdeskAI
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FrontdeskAI, which develops artificial intelligence (AI) assistants for small businesses, said on Tuesday it has raised $2 million (Rs 13.8 crore) in a pre-Series A funding round led by seed stage venture capital firm Pi Ventures.

The round takes the total amount the company has raised so far to $4.2 million, FrontdeskAI said in a statement.

FrontdeskAI, owned by Vidurama Inc., said it will use the funds to accelerate product development, increase customer acquisition and investigate new vertical markets.

Founded in 2017 by Srivatsan Laxman and Supriya Rao, FrontdeskAI creates AI assistants specifically for small businesses that rely on appointment-based products and services for their revenue. The company’s current AI assistant portfolio serves the wellness market including the spa, salon and fitness industries.

The company, through its proprietary algorithms and database, manages appointments, class scheduling, rescheduling, all forms of customer and service-specific enquiries, and can execute targeted and intelligent marketing campaigns.

FrontdeskAI claims to have a 17% customer acquisition growth month-on-month, while subscription revenue is growing 25% every month. 

“Our customers report a 30% increase in revenue, 20% increase in new client registrations, and a significant reduction in class drop-outs. With the additional funding and the partnership with Pi Ventures, we are now in a position to deepen our IP (intellectual property),” said Laxman, chief executive, FrontdeskAI.

Laxman is an engineering graduate from the Indian Institute of Science and has previously worked with Microsoft.

Following the transaction, Abishek Surendran, partner at Pi Ventures, will join the FrontdeskAI board that already includes BluePointe Ventures managing partner Sandeep Sardana, and Speciale Invest managing partner Vishesh Rajaram, the statement added.

Last year in June, the startup raised $1.1 million in a seed round led by Blue Pointe Capital and another $1.1 million in November from Speciale Invest.

In raising funding, FrondeskAI joins several startups that create AI-based chatbots, such as Anaek, Niki.ai, Bottr.me, AskArvi and Active.Ai.

Last year in March, Delhi-based chatbot developer Anaek Soft Pvt. Ltd raised seed funding from venture capital firm Matrix Partners India.

In the same month, Trilyo, which provides AI-based SaaS (Software as a Service) solutions for e-commerce clients in the hospitality sector, raised $250,000 (Rs 1.6 crore) in funding.

Investor

Pi Ventures focuses on investments in applied AI and Internet of Things (IoT). In August last year, the firm raised Rs 225 crore ($31 million) for its debut fund, exceeding its initial target. The UK government’s CDC Group came in as a limited partner in August. The fund has so far invested in startups such as SigTuple, Niramai, Ten3T and Locus.sh. In May 2018, it exited energy management startup Zenatix.

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