London-based conversational artificial intelligence platform PolyAI has just raised €10.7 million in Series A funding. The investment round was led by Point72 Ventures, with participation from Sands Capital Ventures, Amadeus Capital Partners, Passion Capital, and Entrepreneur First.
PolyAI’s platform powers conversational AI agents that guide users through complex customer support scenarios. The agents are based on PolyAI’s proprietary machine learning and natural language processing technology, which allows them to scale seamlessly across different use cases and world languages.
“Developing sophisticated AI technology while formulating a compelling SaaS proposition is a significant challenge, and it has delayed the real-world deployment of conversational AI for far too long,” said Nikola Mrkšić, PolyAI co-founder and CEO. “Attempts to bring modern AI to customer support have been largely unsuccessful – due to a lack of data and insufficient understanding of contact center operations. To make rapid progress, we plan to pursue very close integration with existing contact centres.”
“Our machine learning platform works to empower human agents, not replace them,” said Shawn Wen, PolyAI co-founder and CTO. “Our AI agents learn by listening to humans – then, they provide suggestions and improve through feedback. They can do many things that we as humans struggle with. They have instant access to all relevant information and can speak any world language. At peak times, they can handle calls autonomously if human agents are not available.”
The London startup was founded in 2017 with a core team of scientists and engineers from Cambridge’s Dialog Systems Group. The CEO and co-founder, Nikola Mrkšić, was the first engineer at VocalIQ, a startup that developed proprietary software to improve dialogue interactions in voice-activated systems, sold to Apple in 2015 to be integrated with Siri.
“PolyAI has identified, in customer experience, a major market in need of intelligent automation,” said Hermann Hauser, co-founder and Venture Partner at Amadeus Capital Partners. “They have a deep knowledge of how conversational AI can enhance human interaction and communication in order to transform the customer service experience. Amadeus is pleased to support this exceptionally smart and proven team as they build out the business.”