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Jio to acquire Haptik for Rs 200 Cr: report

Reliance Jio is in the process of acquiring Haptik, a chatbot assistant company, for Rs 200 crore to build an Alexa-like platform, reports Inc42. Haptik co-founders Aakrit Vaish and Swapan Rajdev have signed a Business Transfer Agreement, the report added. Note that this is source based, and is as yet unconfirmed.

Haptik reported revenues of Rs 4.58 crore and net losses of Rs 22.54 crore for FY18, the report stated.

If Jio does indeed buy Haptik, we could see multiple use cases across its digital businesses.

  • Yesterday, we reported that Jio was testing a new Triple Play plan – a service that bundles video, voice and data – on its JioGigaFiber FTTH connections, and will offer 100GB of high-speed data (capped at 100 Mbps), unlimited voice calling, Jio Home TV subscription and Jio native apps.
  • Last month, Reliance Jio launched its own group calling app called ‘Group Talk’.
  • In January, the CCI approved Reliance Industries’ acquisitions of majority stakes in DEN Networks and Hathway Cable.
  • In December, RIL merged its two music streaming services — JioMusic and Saavn into one, months after buying Saavn for $104 million.

Haptik’s previous funding

Note that Haptik has pivoted to being a chatbot assistant app from being an IM concierge like app in 2016. Then, it had raised funding from Times Internet and entered into a strategic partnership with the company. Prior to this Haptik had raised $1 million from Kalaari Capital in September 2014 for developing new features and marketing. In October 2015, it partnered with Mumbai City FC to provide Indian Super League info, allowed users to look for FAQs, book tickets, get live scores, trivia, players and match info and opinions among other things.

Haptik, Akosha and Amazon Pay

In 2015, Haptik accused Akosha, then, an online consumer forum of cloning Haptik’s app. Akosha has since then rebranded to Helchat and now to Tapzo, which Amazon acquired in August last year. Amazon reportedly paid $30-45 million in a cash-and-stock deal for Tapzo which aggregates around 40 apps into a single app. Tapzo’s co-founders Ankur Singla and Vishal Pal Chaudhary joined Amazon Pay following the acquisition.

Jio’s telecom metrics

Reliance Jio had 280 million subscribers as of January, up from 160 million subscribers a year ago. Reliance Jio recorded a standalone net profit of Rs 831 crore for the quarter ended December 2018. It had said that its 4G LTE network coverage of “99% of population” would be completed in the next few months.

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