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Voiceflow, a platform for building conversational AI experiences, raises $15M

August 15th, 2023

The demand for conversational AI, primarily in the form of chatbots, is arguably at an all-time high, benefiting from the attention generated by systems like OpenAI's ChatGPT. In the previous year, Gartner forecasted that by 2026, one in every ten interactions between agents and customers will be automated, a significant increase from the estimated 1.6% of chats that were handled by chatbots in 2022.

It's no surprise that the market for tools to develop conversational AI experiences is extensive and continually expanding. According to Future Market Insights, the value is predicted to grow from $9.6 billion in 2023 to $47.6 billion in 2033.

As an illustration, Voiceflow, a platform dedicated to creating conversational AI, has announced it raised $15 million in funding led by OpenView, a VC firm. Braden Ream, the CEO and Founder, mentioned that this investment, adding to Voiceflow's total funding of $35 million, puts the startup's value at $105 million post-investment.

Ream shared, "With this recent funding round, Voiceflow will enhance its focus on product innovation," explaining that this includes the introduction of an AI builder powered by large language models (LLM). This will provide customers with a platform to create and deploy agents empowered by substantial language models, particularly for customer support purposes.

Founded in 2019 by Braden Ream, Tyler Han, Michael Hood, and Andrew Lawrence, Voiceflow was born out of their collaboration while developing apps for Amazon Alexa in college. Their vision was to establish a collaborative platform allowing teams to create efficient AI agents to automate various tasks. Presently, they concentrate on automating customer support for websites and in-app assistants.

Voiceflow is described as a high-quality collaborative design platform for constructing AI agents. Teams can employ Voiceflow to deploy agents equipped with large language models, such as OpenAI's GPT-4, while retaining the flexibility to mix and match different models, including speech recognition models, to develop conversational AI experiences.

According to Ream, Voiceflow integrates seamlessly with various natural language understanding platforms and technology stacks, empowering teams without requiring costly vendor changes. It accommodates the use of any large language model, including proprietary ones, and popular models through APIs.

Voiceflow, employing a workforce of around 50, faces competition from rivals like Google's Dialogflow, IBM Watson, AWS Lex, and Microsoft Bot Framework. In addition, startups such as Quiq, Yellow Messenger, Rasa, and Level AI, collectively raising over $100 million in capital, contribute to the dynamic landscape.

However, Voiceflow boasts an impressive customer base of 450 clients, including Amazon, JP Morgan, The Home Depot, State Farm, Vodafone, and an undisclosed government agency. These clients collectively engage approximately 130,000 users on the platform.

Ream noted that Voiceflow's signups and usage have approximately doubled since the launch of ChatGPT in November, signifying the growing interest in conversational AI. The platform enables both technical and non-technical stakeholders to collaboratively create AI agents for diverse use cases in a secure and controlled environment. This facilitates enterprises in swiftly constructing, testing, and deploying agents powered by large language models for internal or external purposes.

Source: TechCrunch

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