Staccato answers from chatbots that leave us frustrated are something most of us have encountered. So why are chatbots “dumb”? The reason is not far to seek: Chatbots or FAQ chatbots are just rule-based customer support agents that interact with customers based on a particular set of if-else statements, can only provide answers to a predefined set of questions and lack personalisation capabilities.
Helping address the problem are conversational AI solutions (including chatbots, virtual agents, and voice assistants) which, powered by dynamic AI agents, can overcome the barriers of platform and language to respond to nuanced queries. “A critical aspect of our dynamic AI agents is that they can be more emotional and human-like, and have multilingual and greater enterprise integration capabilities, being able to hand over crucial or tricky conversations to human agents with a contextual background, should the need arise,” says Raghu Ravinutala, CEO & co-founder of conversational AI platform Yellow.ai. “Conversational AI, ideally, provides communication solutions by answering questions, providing recommendations and reminders, simplifying transactions, and most importantly, supporting customers and employees through their user journeys,” he adds.
Powered by automated speech recognition (ASR), natural language processing (NLP), natural language understanding (NLU), dialog management, text-to-speech (TTS), ML and other technologies, Yellow.ai’s dynamic AI agents can open up new avenues for global brands owing to their capability of delivering hyper-personalised, seamless, convenient and intuitive omnichannel experiences. For instance, Yellow.ai’s AI agent for beauty products retailer Sephora assists customers by reserving products and ensuring in-store pickup, checking product availability and answering questions on store timings and product return.
Yellow.ai was founded in 2016 in Bengaluru by Ravinutala, Jaya Kishore Reddy Gollareddy (CTO) and Rashid Khan (CPO) and has been a part of Microsoft’s Accelerator programme and SAP Startup Studio. In August 2021, it raised $78.15 mn in series C funding, led by WestBridge Capital along with Sapphire Ventures and Salesforce Ventures. Lightspeed Venture Partners, an earlier investor, again participated in this round, taking the total funding raised to $102.15 mn.
According to consultancy firm MarketsandMarkets, the global conversational AI market size is expected to grow from $6.8 bn in 2021 to $18.4 bn by 2026, and Yellow.ai is looking to grab a significant share of this pie. Today, it has 1200 + customers across verticals in over 85+ countries. Its platform supports 135+ languages, including English, Indonesian, Arabic, Hindi, Bengali, Spanish, French, Chinese, Portuguese and Russian.
“While we have recorded 4X growth over our previous year’s revenues, we aim to grow faster. We continue to see exponential growth in India with our bookings doubling this quarter on a sequential basis,” says Ravinutala. Among Yellow.ai’s India clients are Spencer’s Retail, Asian Paints and Bharat Petroleum. Since January 2021, Urja, the dynamic AI agent developed by Yellow.ai for Bharat Petroleum, has been handling queries for over 4 mn unique users. Again, Yellow.ai’s ‘Spencer’s Grocery assistant’ on WhatsApp simplifies grocery and daily essentials ordering across 160 Spencer’s stores in the country.