Reliance Jio has acquired an 87% stake in AI chatbot company Haptik Infotech for Rs 700 crore. Reliance has paid Rs 230 crore, the further investment of Rs 470 crore will be pumped into Haptik over the next five years. The investment also gives an exit to Haptik’s existing investor Times Internet. Reliance will use Haptik’s technology to enable conversational AI with multi-lingual support across devices, as the company believes that “voice interactivity will be the primary mode of interaction for Digital India”. Haptik’s products include voice and chat enabled AI interfaces for consumers and corporates. Reliance will also use Haptik’s team to drive its own enterprise platform and build digital consumer assistants, looking at a potential market of over 1 billion people in India. Haptik co-founder and CEO Aakrit Vaish believes that “now is the opportunity to serve the next billion users who come online” and that Reliance is the adequate partner for it.
Haptik was founded in 2013 as a chat-based virtual assistant mobile app, with a focus on customer support, concierge, lead generation and live chat. In the past two years, it has focused on improving technology and enterprise grade solutions. It has processed over 2 billion interactions; its clients include Samsung, Coca-Cola, Future Retail, KFC, Tata Group, Oyo Rooms, Mahindra Group, among others.
The last 250 million Indians that came online skipped the Desktop to go straight to Mobile.
Can the next 500 million skip the traditional screen interface and go straight to Voice interactivity?
Can’t wait to start building towards this mission. Watch this space! ?
— Aakrit Vaish (@aakuvaish) April 3, 2019
Its worth noting that Reliance Industries announced in January that Reliance Jio and Reliance Retail are going to launch a new e-commerce platform. The company has also acquired majority stakes in hyperlocal delivery platform Grab a Grub Services, and in software solutions company C-Square Info Solutions. It will be interesting to see how Haptik’s existing customers in e-commerce such as Grofers, Future Group, and others react to a potential competitor acquiring Haptik.