Automation start-up Yellow.ai raises $78.2m to boost expansion

The company aims to strengthen its presence in the Middle East and the US

Yellow.ai – a customer experience (CX) automation platform that has many clients in the Middle East region – raised $78.15 million in a new funding round led by private equity firm WestBridge Capital, as it aims to expand its operations and boost technology.

The funding round, known as Series C, also had other investment firms including Sapphire Ventures, Salesforce Ventures and Lightspeed Venture Partners participating in it. A Series C funding round, usually a third injection of capital into a company, helps prepare it to be acquired, go public on a stock market or expand significantly.

Yellow.ai, which closed its previous funding round (Series B) of $20m in April 2020, has raised $102.2m so far.

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What impressed us the most is the speed at which customers deployed Yellow.ai for support automation
Sumir Chadha, founder and managing partner of WestBridge Capital

Founded in January 2016, Bangalore and California-based Yellow.ai enables businesses to build virtual chatbots and voice bots in more than 100 languages across over 35 channels. They automate functions like customer support, customer engagement, conversational commerce and employee experience.

The start-up will use the fresh cash infusion to chart its global expansion, hire top talent across regions and boost research and development, Raghu Ravinutala, chief executive and co-founder of the company, told The National.

"Yellow.ai has broken out of the crowded virtual-assistant market with its automation-first … human-assist model, to deliver a higher customer satisfaction and incremental revenue growth to its enterprise clients.

“With our rapid client and revenue expansion in the Middle East and across the world, we are geared to becoming the global leader in the CX automation space and are bullish on building our product, partnerships, teams and community to truly democratise artificial intelligence in the near future,” added Mr Ravinutala.

Currently, Yellow.ai is assisting more than 700 companies in over 50 countries to drive business continuity through automation. In the Middle East, it has key clients in Egypt, North Africa and the GCC market. Some of its clients in the region include Americana Foods, Choithrams, Amouage perfumes, Carrefour and Al Habib Realty.

“Our virtual assistants have been credited with learning customer behaviour so precisely that one international financial services company was able to leverage virtual assistants powered by Yellow.ai to generate $100m in upsell revenue in just three years,” said Mr Ravinutala.

One of the largest globally recognised pizza delivery chains has moved 100 per cent of its customer service to “Dom”, an omnichannel AI assistant developed by Yellow.ai on voice and text channels. Dom personalises offers and recommendations for millions of customers, while reducing customer support resolution time by 70 per cent, the company said.

“What impressed us the most is the speed at which customers deployed Yellow.ai for support automation and quickly scaled to commerce, HR [human resource] and other use-cases. This pattern is a testimony to the platform’s capability of creating an impact across the board thereby becoming a pivotal AI partner” said Sumir Chadha, founder and managing partner of WestBridge Capital.

Since its previous funding round, Yellow.ai's recurring revenue has grown 470 per cent and it has secured hundreds of new customers. The company said it is automating a $1.3 trillion market.

“Yellow.ai continues to solidify their market leadership in Asia, the US and beyond. As the team continues to show strong execution, we are bullish about the company’s continued momentum and ability to provide cutting-edge AI solutions for their customers,” Amy Wu, partner at Lightspeed Venture Partners, said.

Updated: August 4th 2021, 1:03 PM
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