PolyAI raises $14M in a Series B round led by Khosla Ventures

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PolyAI, a conversational AI company, raised $14 million in a Series B funding round led by Khosla Ventures. PolyAI, according to the company, creates and installs voice assistants for customer service automation that sound like actual people.


PolyAI, a conversational AI, has raised $14 million in a Series B funding round led by Khosla Ventures. Other participants include existing investors Point72 Ventures, Amadeus Capital, Sands Capital Ventures, Passion Capital, and Entrepreneur First. 

PolyAI creates and installs voice assistants for customer service automation that sound like actual people, according to the company. According to the company, this allows businesses to obtain a limitless and cheaper supply of their best human voice operators, which minimizes customer wait times and improves customer happiness and retention.

The technical term for our technology is ‘multi-turn conversational AI,’ but all the caller has to do is talk to it like they would to a human. Compared to existing call centers, our assistants can boost customer satisfaction (CSAT) scores by up to 40% and reduce handling times by up to five minutes. We build these systems very quickly (relative to the competition) — we get experiences like these up and running in 2-4 weeks thanks to our transformer-based language understanding models and the underlying dialog management platform.”

Nikola Mrkšić, CEO and co-founder of PolyAI

PolyAI claims it is essentially “pushing at an open door” because the epidemic has resulted in call center staffing shortages, prompting more companies to adopt intelligent voice assistants, which do not appear to have completely replaced chatbots, as consumers prefer to speak rather than type.

PolyAI is one of the first AI companies using the newest generation of large pre-trained deep learning models (akin to BERT and GPT-3) in a real-world enterprise product. This means they can deploy automated AI agents in as little as two weeks, where incumbent providers of voice assistants would take up to six months to deploy an older version of this technology.

Vinod Khosla, a partner at Khosla Ventures


Nikola (CEO), Tsung-Hsien Wen (CTO), and Pei-Hao Su (Engineering Director) founded the company while working on their PhDs with Professor Steve Young, a pioneer in spoken dialogue systems who developed many of the technologies that are used in voice assistants like Siri, Google Assistant, and Alexa. Landry’s Entertainment, Greene King, Starling Bank, and Viasat are just a few of PolyAI’s recent clients.

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