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Akosha becomes HelpChat; pivots biz to local help services

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Delhi-based online customer feedback platform Akosha has rebranded to HelpChat which works as a virtual messaging assistant, reports ET. Akosha will shut its complaints redressal platform.  For its rebranding exercise, it has tied up with Mumbai based Ogilvy & Mather and Open Design for the brand, logo and market services. Note that HelpChat does not currently have a website, only an app.

The ET report states that the company found that since the nature of queries to the Akosha platform changed from complaints to other help services, they thought of converting to HelpChat. Akosha and HelpChat’s parent Coraza will apparently continue its B2B help desk software platform called OneDirect.

Haptik-Akosha accusation: In March, Haptik, an app which previously let its users get customer service for queries and company transactions but moved on to becoming an instant messaging personal assistant, had accused Akosha of cloning its app. Haptik CEO Aakrit Vaish had 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  for Haptik. To this, Akosha’s founder and CEO Ankur Singla responded by saying that for Haptik to say that Akosha had copied its app is “a leap of imagination and faith.” We’d said at the time that their worlds were colliding. More on it here.

HelpChat to provide local and on demand services: Now, HelpChat will provide mobile and DTH recharge services, gadget tech support, travel ticket booking, holiday package guidance, coupons, deals, product search, stylist support, at home beauty services, movie tickets, gift orders and suggestions, on demand laundry, ordering from local grocery shops, home services and direct chat with businesses through the app. HelpChat claims to have a team of over 600 people and uses AI to automate query answering. The company claims that over 25% of its 30,000 daily requests are handled by a chatbot.

Akosha’s funding from Sequoia Capital: Less than two months ago, Akosha had raised $16 million in a series B round of funding led by existing investor Sequoia Capital. The company had previously raised $5 million is a series A round of funding in July last year and a seed investment of $200,000 in September 2011, both from Sequoia Capital.

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Akosha said that it would use the funding to hire over 200 software engineers and product managers to further build its platform and develop its mobile apps. At that time, the platform claimed to handle over 30,000 consumer inquiries everyday, including on its mobile app, which it claimed saw over 18,000 chat sessions everyday. Akosha also monetized by providing OneDirect, a social CRM platform that offered solutions for customer service benchmarking, reputation management, and online feedback CRM.

Written By

I'm a MediaNama alumna from 2015-16 (remember TinyOwl?) now back to cover e-services like food and grocery delivery, app based transport and policies, platforms and media in India.

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.

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