PolyAI Raises $40M to Enable Enterprise Voice Assistants to Speak Like People

PolyAI, the leading provider of enterprise voice assistants, has raised $40 million in a Series B funding round led by Georgian with participation from Twilio Ventures as well as existing investors (Khosla Ventures, Point72 Ventures, Amadeus Capital Partners), bringing its total funding to $70 million.

PolyAI has developed a proprietary suite of technologies that sound perfectly human, enabling voice assistants to understand callers no matter how they speak. PolyAI’s platform is language agnostic, so voice assistants can be ported into different languages without the need to redevelop their underlying architecture. PolyAI voice assistants answer calls for companies like FedEx, Marriott hotels, and Whitbread PLC.

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PolyAI builds voice assistants that operate under a trust-based dialogue paradigm. Every call starts with an open question (a version of ‘How Can I Help?’), enabling callers to say whatever they want in their own words. Throughout the call, the AI agent measures satisfaction and hands off to a customer service representative at any sign of trouble. The voice assistants fully resolve anywhere between 40-90% of all incoming calls while increasing customer satisfaction scores by up to 40%.

“Previous attempts at contact center automation have been disappointing,” said PolyAI CEO Nikola Mrkšić. “Conversational IVRs have made callers guess which keywords they have to use – and even then, have consistently failed to understand what they’re saying. At PolyAI, we’re dedicated to developing systems that understand every customer, regardless of what they say and how they say it, and making these systems accessible and affordable for enterprises to use.”

“The experience of talking to a PolyAI voice assistant is so good, it’s just like talking to a human,” said Emily Walsh, Lead Investor at Georgian. “It is a breakthrough in automated customer service to have voice assistants that can be customized to a specific brand. We’re seeing impressive adoption of PolyAI’s solutions as a result, in particular as firms struggle with staffing shortages in customer-facing roles.”

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