- April 12, 2019
- Posted by:
- Category: venture capital funding
Enterprises of all sizes are looking to move text and voice conversations from agents to conversational AI. However, reliably automating text or voice-based conversations is extremely difficult. Traditionally, developers either use third party cloud APIs that are hard to customize or build their own tools on top of general purpose machine learning frameworks, which usually requires a big research team.
Rasa was founded to provide developers with the machine learning tools necessary to build great AI assistants, regardless of team size, with no additional expertise required, and while still allowing companies to control automation.
Developers can build custom AI environments while owning their own data, deploying on premise or with their cloud provider of choice. The company's ML-based dialogue allows enterprises to expand assistants beyond simple FAQs to automate full conversations in sales and marketing, internal processes, and advanced customer service which results in clear ROI. For example, Helvetia, a Swiss insurance company, achieved a conversion rate of over 30% selling insurance policies over text.
"Automation is the next battleground for the enterprise, and while this is a very difficult space to win, especially for unstructured information like text and voice, we are confident Rasa has what it takes given their impressive adoption by developers," said Andrei Brasoveanu, Partner at Accel. "Existing solutions don't let in-house developer teams control their own automation destiny. Rasa is applying commercial open source software solutions for AI environments similarly to what open source leaders such as Cloudera, Mulesoft, and Hashicorp have done for others."
Rasa has two products. Rasa Stack is a framework for automating conversations and has been downloaded over half a million times across all industries, while Rasa Platform is targeted at enterprises to help run the Rasa Stack at scale.
"Rasa is building the standard infrastructure layer for conversational AI, that allows all developers to create the best text and voice-based AI assistants," said Alex Weidauer, CEO and Co-Founder of Rasa. "Our tremendous growth in our open source community shows the appetite of developers for our tools across industries and use cases."
Rasa is used by some of the world's largest companies across all industries including healthcare, insurance, telecom, and banking. Five of the ten largest U.S. banks use Rasa, as well as companies such as Parallon and TalkSpace, Zurich and Allianz, Telekom, and UBS use Rasa.
In addition, Adobe recently demoed an AI assistant built with Rasa at the 2019 Adobe Summit in Las Vegas, Nevada.
"Finding the right photo on Adobe Stock can prove time consuming, with over 100 million images alone. We wanted to give our users an AI assistant that lets them search with natural language commands," said Brett Butterfield, Director of Software Development of Adobe. "We looked at several online services, and, in the end, Rasa was the clear choice because we were able to host our own servers & protect our user's data privacy. Being able to automate full conversations and the fact it is open source were key elements for us. It only took a few weeks to build the first version with our team of developers, data scientists and designers. We were impressed by how easy it was to customize the platform to our needs, we can all develop, build & deploy our models directly from our laptops, not something you'll find with the online services."
Rasa is the leading company in open source conversational AI. Rasa's tools are used by thousands of developers from startups to the Fortune 500s to build, improve, and deploy text-and voice-based chatbots and assistants. Machine learning-based dialogue expands use cases beyond FAQs into sales & marketing, internal processes, and advanced customer service. Rasa has secured $14 million in total funding from Accel and Basis Set Ventures. The company is headquartered in San Francisco, CA, with R&D offices in Berlin, Germany and was founded in 2016.
Accel is a leading venture capital firm that partners with exceptional founders with unique insights, from inception through all phases of private company growth. Atlassian, Algolia, Avito, Celonis, Cloudera, Crowdstrike, Deliveroo, DJI, Dropbox, Etsy, Facebook, Flipkart, Funding Circle, Kayak, Kry, QlikTech, Rovio, Slack, Spotify, Supercell, UiPath and WorldRemit are among the companies the firm has backed over the past 35+ years. The firm seeks to understand entrepreneurs as individuals, appreciate their originality and play to their strengths. Because greatness doesn't have a stereotype. For more, visit www.accel.com, www.facebook.com/accel or www.twitter.com/accel.
|11/04/2019||$13,000,000||Series A||Accel Partners, Basis Set Ventures, Daniel Dines, Greg Brockman, Mitchell Hashimoto||Accel Partners|