Sep 30, 2020: In a three-part series, Sramana Mitra interviews Raj Koneru to understand his entrepreneurial journey and what he thinks about Kore.ai. Some excerpts:
“About six years ago, I decided to build this company called Kore.ai. This is a fast-growing company in the conversational AI space, which helps large enterprises automate their interactions with their customers, employees, and partners.
“Conversational AI is a new space. It’s part of the overall AI landscape. It’s particularly used around automation use cases.
“You have the large cloud tech players like Google, Microsoft, IBM, and Amazon who have capabilities in the space. Most of those are in the form of APIs that you use to be able to build your own platform and build a solution on top of that.
“Then there are enterprise platform players like us who provide an enterprise platform for enterprises to use to deploy their use cases. Finally, there are vertical or horizontal solution players who provide a banking or HR solution.
“They generally don’t provide a platform. They provide basic capabilities around the technology. On the front end, they provide a solution.
“Over time, much like what I saw with Kony, it consolidates many players. There are two or three primary players that enterprises can focus on. This space has started to consolidate. We are emerging as a leader in the space, particularly for large enterprises to deploy enterprise-wide conversational AI.
“We go to market both as a platform and as a solution player. The platform is one thing. We also have full prebuilt solutions.
“We are following almost the same model as Salesforce. Our focus is not applications; our focus is automating interactions. It’s both an automation and an application play in that regard.”