With customer experience being the key today to retain subscribers in a hyper-competitive market, Bharti Airtel has inked an acquihire deal with AuthMe ID Services, a start-up working on artificial intelligence (AI) solutions, to offer intuitive digital products across languages. Acquihire deal implies a transaction where a company acquires products and personnel of another company. “As part of the deal, the core team of AuthMe will join Airtel and be a part of Airtel X Labs in Bengaluru.
Airtel has set up Airtel X Labs with the aim of driving cutting edge innovation in the areas of AI, IoT, AR and VR and is building a world-class team for the facility,” Bharti said. The deal with AuthMe will enable Bharti to offer its subscribers a better call centre experience across languages and regions. For this, the company has acquired the intellectual property rights (IPR) of two products of the start-up —Callup AI and Fintech OCR.
Callup AI has created a chat and voice assistant that uses AI to quickly and effectively resolve customer queries over email, chat and phone calls. Its features include voice integration, unsupervised learning and the application is built for vernacular languages with zero integration time. At present, this solution is being used by 10 companies across three countries in banking, finance, payments and housing domains.
On the other hand, Fintech OCR is an application designed for processing KYC (know your customer) documents, bank/credit card/loan statements, marksheets, and can also be customised to process known formats of other documents. It can pick up any language with standard fonts. Airtel X labs is working on emerging technologies like AI and IoT to develop strong in-house technology capabilities. It is part of the company’s digital innovation project — Project Next. Bharti is acquiring human talent and solutions for the lab from from both within India and abroad (including Silicon Valley).
One such hire is Santanu Bhattacharya, who led Facebook’s mobile products in emerging markets like India, Brazil, and Indonesia. He also co-founded a social media analytics company Salorix in 2009.