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Kata.ai Announces Series B Funding, to Launch a Social Commerce Platform

Funding was led by Trans-Pacific Technology Fund with the participation of MDI Ventures and Buana Investama

Kristin Siagian - 26 November 2020

Wednesday (25/11), the AI ​​and NLP powered conversational technology platform Kata.ai announced a series B funding led by the Trans-Pacific Technology Fund with the participation of MDI Ventures and Buana Investama. The nominal is still undisclosed. Funds will be focused on expanding and accelerating AI services in a broader industry, such as commerce, healthcare, and insurtech.

"The focus is on expanding services towards SMEs, particularly social commerce, as well as accelerating AI services in other industries such as healthcare and engineering. Kata.ai is here as an enabler to help players in this industry be more thriving with artificial intelligence technology," Kata.ai's CEO, Irzan Raditya said in the media pers conference for INTERACT 2020.

Irzan also said that Indonesia's digital economy is projected to reach $125 billion in 2025. It is estimated that by 2030, the impact of artificial intelligence on Indonesia's GDP could reach $ 366 billion. This number is quite massive considering the positive impact that AI can have on Indonesia.

In addition, with the challenges posed by the pandemic, businesses must find new ways to survive and sustain sales. As many as 125 million Indonesians have used WhatsApp and 70 million of them already have Instagram. This should be used by business people to create new experiences in shopping.

Launching Qios

The social commerce platform is predicted to have quite a big role in online commerce sales in Indonesia. McKinsey predicts that by 2022 the total Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) of social commerce in Indonesia will reach $ 25 billion. Looking at the problems and opportunities that exist, 2021 is predicted to be a momentum for conversational commerce, this solution is not only used for customer service but can also be a scalable sales service.

QIOS is a service for SMEs, especially social sellers who sell through social media to manage their business. Through this platform, SME players can create a virtual system via WhatsApp to serve inquiries, as well as payments to delivery.

This platform is integrated with e-wallets such as OVO, DANA Linkaja, and also logistics services such as Go-Send and Grab Express. Through this platform, SMEs are expected to be more focused on managing their business with the help of AI and chatbots.

"We see a lot of opportunities in this sector, apart from chatbot technology, we are also developing voice technology, and looking for ways to transform business actors in Indonesia at the micro, small and medium scale," Irzan said.

Currently, Qios is still available in beta. The current business model is freemium, however, there will be a fee for each transaction made on the platform. There is no further information regarding the calculations. One of the merchants that have used Qios's services is the Tuku Coffee Shop.

Business plan 2021

Since founded in 2016, Kata.ai has collaborated with various institutions on its mission to provide conversational AI services that are scalable and have a broad impact on the people of Indonesia. Some of these include launching a virtual assistant to accommodate the needs of BPJS users, also working with Prixa to provide an AI-based symptom check system.

Kata.ai has experienced very rapid growth. The growth rate in 2020 will increase by 5x from the previous year. To date, Kata.ai has processed more than 750 million conversations. In addition, there are 3 million Monthly Active Users who interact with chatbots created using Kata Platform.

The pandemic is said to be one of the supporting factors for business fertility that allows triple growth, which usually takes 18 months to become in just 6 months.

Regarding the business plan, Irzan said, "Our business plan remains to accelerate digital transformation in Indonesia for business people."

Original article is in Indonesian, translated by Kristin Siagian

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