India: Artificial intelligence startup Octo.ai raises $200k from Outbox, others

Delhi-based artificial intelligence start-up Octo.ai has raised $200,000 from early stage investor Outbox Ventures, Rahul Khanna, managing partner of venture debt fund Trifecta Capital and Jaspreet Bindra, head of e-commerce at Mahindra & Mahindra, the company said on Tuesday.

Arjun Malhotra and Rohan Malhotra of Investopad, Sidharth Rao, co-founder of WebChutney and US-based angel Rakesh Agrawal were among the other investors who participated in the round.

The company will use the fund for enhancing technology.

Founded by Akshaya Aaron and Dipankar Sarkar, Octo.in (Aurora Borealis Pvt. Ltd) is an open-source analytics platform built for machine learning. It helps companies retain their data and apply machine learning to power real-time insights, recommendations and personalised feeds on their platform.

It allows them to install Octo, and send personalised push messages to each user to drive more active users and engagement. Octo has built in an advanced rule engine and a routing mechanism to handle marketing communication.

It also allows marketplaces to power their seller analytics. The system can provide sellers with recommendations for products and insights on how their products are doing.

While the basic platform is free of cost, Octo will charge companies for customizations or hosted solutions of their open-source offering and consulting.

“We will be hosting solutions, customization and support and training. Companies can use free installation. However some people are contacting us as one size doesn’t fit all. They want us to customize the data for them,” said Aaron.

“We want to push internet marketing to the next level much beyond the basic software stack, where machines are autonomously taking actions based on user behaviour insights. Right now the available tools are used by marketing teams to make inferences and perform actions. We believe that an artificial intelligence should perform these actions as it will be more efficient and obviously more personalised,” he added.

The company targets 100 clients by 2016 end.

Of late, the artificial intelligence segment has been attracting a lot of investors.

Some of the other start-ups who raised funds this year include Snapshopr that specializes in visual search and image recognition. It raised an undisclosed amount in angel funding led by former Flipkart chief technology officer Amod Malviya, among others.

Ratan Tata, chairman emeritus of Tata Sons Ltd, also invested an undisclosed amount in artificial intelligence start-up Niki.ai, (Techbins Solutions Pvt. Ltd). Niki offers a chat-bot for users to perform transactions.

According to a recent report by research firm MarketsandMarkets, the artificial intelligence market is estimated to reach $5 billion by 2020 globally.

Also Read

Tech moguls declare era of artificial intelligence

Need for India to gain foothold in artificial intelligence: Jack Hidary

India: Venture debt firm Trifecta Capital raises about $30m for debut fund

This story was first published on livemint.com

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.