Haptik, an instant messenger concierge-like app, has raised an undisclosed amount in funding from Times Internet and has entered into a strategic partnership with the company. While it’s not clear what exactly the partnership will entail, the companies hint the collaboration will help make Haptic accessible to Times Internet’s users.
Prior to this Haptik had raised $1 million investment from Kalaari Capital back in September 2014. The company had said then it would use the funds for developing new features and for marketing. In October last year, it partnered with Mumbai City FC to provide Indian Super League info. The partnership allowed users to look for FAQs, book tickets, get live scores, trivia, players and match info and opinions among other things.
As of now Haptik claims to have 150,000 app users. Founded in August 2013 by Aakrit Vaish and Swapan Rajdev, Haptik operated like a customer service centre that enabled users to find expert help with products and services. Besides answering customer queries, Haptik experts could also register complaints and provide technical support. The company revamped its product and introduced actionable messaging in July last year. Now users can, for example, search for the price of a TV, find service centres around them, find ATMs, banks, book test drives, web check in for flights etc.
In August last year, Haptik appointed Ram Gupta to its board of members. Gupta would work with Haptik’s management team on strategy and execution of the business. In May, Haptik took on its board of directors Professor Dan Roth. Roth was to work with Haptik’s co-founder Swapan Rajdev to scale Haptik’s Natural language processing (NLP), the backend chat technology and understanding user behaviour to enhance its product and service. Roth would also own a small equity stake and become an equity partner at Haptik.
Tussle with Akosha
The same year, Haptik had accused Akosha, an online consumer forum with services similar to those of Haptik, of cloning their app. In a blog post, Haptik CEO Aakrit Vaish pointed that both apps appeared to have an identical interface; and the text that Akosha allegedly initially used in its Android App page description appeared to be the same as for Haptik. Vaish said that Akosha was a company that Haptik tried to partner with when it launched.