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Mukesh Ambani’s Rs 700 crore AI bet: Reliance Jio buys chatbot startup Haptik; check cool things it can do

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In a bid to consolidate its position further in the digital space, billionaire Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Jio has announced that it will pick up about 87% stake in AI Chatbot startup Haptik. The deal which could help Reliance Jio leverage Haptik’s AI capabilities, has an estimated value around Rs 700 crore. The transaction size, including investment for growth and expansion, is estimated at about Rs 700 crore, with Rs 230 crore as the consideration for the initial business transfer, Reliance Industries said in a press release.

The Haptik team will continue to drive growth of the business, including the enterprise platform as well as digital consumer assistants. On a fully diluted basis Reliance will hold about ~87% of the business with the rest being held by Haptik founders and employees through stock option grants, said the release.

Taking stock of the benefits of the deal, RIL said that the transaction enables Reliance Jio to leverage Haptik s capabilities across various devices and touch points in the consumer s journey. The investment focus is on the enhancement and expansion of the platform, with an addressable market opportunity of over 1 billion users in India, noted the firm. From Haptik s point of view, this partnership will give a boost to its existing enterprise grade business, with the company continuing to build innovative AI solutions for corporates globally.

Morgan Stanley in a report noted that the deal help to bring in multi-lingual chat enabled devices. Notably, Haptik focuses on key customer engagement use cases such as customer support, concierge, lead generation and live chat. Haptik was the first company globally to open source a conversation based Entity Detection engine, and was recently awarded Frost & Sullivan s Conversational AI Company of the year 2018, said the release.

This strategic investment underlines our commitment to further boost the digital ecosystem and provide Indian users conversational AI enabled devices with multi-lingual capabilities. We believe voice interactivity will be the primary mode of interaction for Digital India, Akash Ambani, Director, Reliance Jio said.

Aakrit Vaish, Co-Founder & CEO, Haptik said that now is the opportunity to serve the next billion users who come online. Who better to partner with than one of the world s largest digital ecosystems in Jio. We look forward to using this strategic opportunity to exponentially scale up the business across various product lines, Aakrit Vaish, Co-Founder & CEO, Haptik said.