Ixigo launches voice-based travel assistant TARA

Travel search marketplace Ixigo has announced launch of its upcoming voice-enabled artificial intelligence travel assistant – TARA. As per its Youtube video, it looks a lot like Apple’s Siri. The assistant helps an user to discover, plan, book and manage their travel via voice-based search and commands. TARA will officially be launched in early 2018, the company said in a statement. In July last year, ixigo had launched Ixibaba, an artificial intelligence (AI) based chatbot which would answer simple questions related to all travel planning and booking queries. It was built from over 30 million data points including destinations, points of interest, routes, activities in India and globally.

i2e1 secures series A funding of $3m

Delhi-based i2e1(Information To Every One), a Wi-Fi analytics startup has raised Series A funding of $3 million led by Omidyar Network. Other investors like Auxano Ventures and 3one4 Capital along with existing investors also participated in the round. The startup provided free wi-fi to the retailers (which can be used by customers in the premises via log in), in exchange of data, and then the startup uses the collected data from user sign-ins at brick and mortar establishments, to create analytics intelligence suite similar to Google Analytics, tailored for offline businesses, the company said in a statement. It added the the startup will use the funds to launch a mobile platform.

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UberEATS goes live in Hyderabad

Online cab aggregator Uber has expanded its on-demand food delivery service UberEATS to Hyderabad, making it the 7th city in India to have the service. The cab aggregator has partnered with about 300 restaurants across the city, Hyderabadis can now order their favourite food from their favourite restaurants such as Paradise Biryani, Pista House, Bawarchi, Cream Stone Ice-cream and etc. The service is available across key neighbourhoods in the city like Madhapur, Kondapur, Gachibowli and Kukatpally. Note that UberEats is a separate app available on iOS and Play Store, or users can book via its website. In India, the service was first launched in Mumbai in June 2017, and the expanded to Gurgaon, Bangalore, Chennai, Chandigarh, Delhi, and now Hyderabad.

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AI startup Active.Ai raises series A funding of $8.25m

Fintech platform Active.Ai has raised series A funding of $ 8.25 million led by Vertex Ventures, Creditease Holdings and Dream Incubator. Existing investors Kalaari and IDG Ventures India also participated in the round. As part of the investment, Ben Mathias, Managing Partner at Vertex Ventures and Vani Kola, Managing Director at Kalaari Capital will join Sanat Rao from IDG Ventures India on the Company’s board of directors. Anju Patwardhan from Creditease will join as a board observer.With the fresh injection of funds, Active.ai will scale up and hire people for its AI team and will expand its footprint into other geographies. Currently, the startup works with companies in India, Malaysia, Singapore and North America. Founded in early 2016, the company is headquartered in Singapore, but operates its innovation lab in Bangalore, that delivers conversational banking through artificial intelligence (AI). Active-Ai’s AI engine, Triniti uses advanced NLP and machine intelligence to enable customers to have natural dialogues over messaging, voice or IOT devices. Going ahead, the company plans to expand into other verticals like Wealth Management and Securities Trading.