Conversational AI leader delivers record growth in 2018 with customer, revenue and headcount increases
ORLANDO, Fla., January 24, 2019 — Kore, a global leader in conversational AI, is preparing for another year of record growth in 2019 after closing 2018 with 300% growth in bookings, and the addition of dozens of new Global 2000 enterprise customers across 7 verticals in Americas, Europe and Asia.
“We are at the cusp of a great journey, with conversational AI having already captured market imagination. Our comprehensive enterprise platform credentials are well established, and our clients are seeing massive ROI along with improved customer and employee satisfaction. Our vision of deploying a conversational interface to any application to improve user experience and enable automation has been proven through varied use cases,” said Kore Founder and CEO, Raj Koneru.
To back this growth, Naya Ventures, a US-based venture capital firm that backs early-stage disruptive technology companies with the potential to emerge as market leaders in areas like deep tech, cloud and AI invested in the company during 2018. Additional funding was provided by CEO/Founder, Raj Koneru in 2018 on top of the significant funding he has made since inception. Overall, funding is in excess of $45 million in the company so far.
“Kore is uniquely placed with unlimited potential for growth and strategic relevance in emerging technology space,” said Dayakar Puskoor, Managing Director, Naya Ventures, explaining the rationale behind the investment. “Kore’s performance is enviable, with an impeccable record on all aspects that a fast-moving technology company is expected to emulate – be it consistently proven leadership, growth momentum, technological relevance, innovation and engineering excellence, strategic partnerships or brand recall. We believe our collaboration through this funding will help Kore scale greater heights and realize its vision of creating intelligent enterprises through conversational AI,” he stated.
To manage the tremendous growth and strong pipeline, Kore appointed Michael Eckhoff as chief revenue officer (CRO) to head its global sales in 2018. Michael added: “The incredible reception of the Kore platform by enterprise customers and prospects demonstrates the platform’s breadth of capabilities and product maturity in a fragmented market. We are building a world-class team of account management professionals to support the market demand.”
Further, the company appointed industry veteran Devendra Kumar (DK) Sharma, ex-CIO of Citigroup International, as a full-time board member. “DK brings a wealth of experience to Kore and we are excited to welcome him to our board of directors,” said Mr. Koneru. “We believe his successful track record in the technology space, together with his extensive experience will be extremely valuable as we continue to grow.”
The company has also grown its employee base significantly since last year with currently more than 250 employees focused on advanced areas of conversational AI. In parallel, Kore has forged strategic industry partnerships to strengthen its joint go-to-market reach. Thousands of developers across dozens of leading consulting and system integration firms and technology/ ISV partners use Kore’s platform to build industry-leading conversational AI solutions.
Some of the exciting use cases that Kore is building for key customers include:
- a prominent US bank with global presence using Kore for retail banking, commercial banking and institutional client groups, as well as for internal requirements in both digital and interactive voice response (IVR), realizing significant reduction in live agent handling for key functions;
- a large European bank running Kore-built bots for its IT helpdesk, security and audit, achieving 100% more than the projected ROI in the first year;
- a global telecom giant using Kore to implement bots for sales and customer support with a realized 20% increase in customer satisfaction and reduction in process steps;
- a luxury cruise line piloting Kore’s bots platform installed entirely on-ship for enhanced guest service and commerce;
- a large electrical equipment manufacturer realized over 90% reduction in live customer service and technical support chats currently handled by human agents.
“Kore has consistently set the tone for greater adoption of conversational AI by foreseeing the demands of the market. Our clients appreciate the originality, comprehensiveness and market readiness of our platform. 19 industry analysts – including Gartner, IDC, Everest Group, HFS and others – have researched and validated our rich feature set, comprehensive platform capabilities and market leadership,” Mr. Koneru explained.
Some major enhancements of 2018 include:
- implementing open, extensible APIs for efficient integration with global enterprise systems and analytics engines;
- bolstering omnichannel capabilities by growing to over 30 out-of-the-box pre-integrated channels;
- enhancing the unique hybrid NLP and intelligent dialog turn management capabilities;
- employing an IVR integration framework on the platform with advanced contact center AI capabilities with integration to leading IVR, speech recognition and text-to-speech platforms;
- expanding global reach with support for languages including English, French, German, Spanish, Chinese (traditional and simplified), Portuguese, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Arabic, Dutch and Bahasa;
- innovating the Universal Bot – one master assistant that routes requests to several backend chatbots across different functions and domains as needed;
- creating an advanced AI based knowledge extraction and ingestion feature set to take structured and unstructured content to produce bot knowledge;
- creating a new state-of-the-art proprietary AI framework to discover intents, sub intents, entities and discourse patterns from historical chat and call transcripts to enable rapid conversational AI bot creation and ongoing optimization.
About Naya Ventures
Founded in 2011, Naya Ventures invests in early-stage AI and cloud-based companies where its emerging market channel relationships and go-to-market strategies can efficiently increase enterprise value. Lead by serial entrepreneurs in the mobile and cloud industry, Naya Ventures’ principals work alongside a global network of C-level executives and general partners at influential US technology companies and venture funds. Naya’s strong mobile and cloud industry reputation, its relationships with leading technology companies and its global network of technology and market development resources help accelerate value creation. Its relationships also provide Naya with an extensive deal sourcing and follow on funding capability.
Kore is a market leading conversational AI partner for Global 2000 companies. It provides an enterprise-grade, end-to-end Conversational AI platform available on-premise/cloud for building, deploying and managing secure, smart, conversational bots across 30 different digital and voice channels. Kore partners with top ISVs and global system integrators for helping companies meet their digital transformation needs leveraging the power of enterprise chatbots.
Kore has repeatedly won global analyst acclaim and was most recently featured in Gartner Market Guide 2018 for Conversational Platforms, IDC Innovators: Conversational AI Software Platforms 2018 and Everest Group’s Conversing with AI – Intelligent Virtual Agents Market Report 2019.