India-based voice AI company to expand in US & Southeast Asia with $23 million in Series B funding

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Voice AI company, Skit, formerly known as Vernacular.ai, has secured USD 23 million as part of its Series B funding, to fuel its expansion plans in the US and Southeast Asia.

The investment was led by WestBridge Capital with participation from Kalaari Capital and Exfinity Ventures, Angelist syndicate led by Aaryaman Vir Shah from Prophetic Ventures, and Letsventure syndicate led by Sense AI.

With the funding, Skit will potentially address the over $300 billion voice customer service market globally with its AI-based voice automation platform Vernacular Intelligent Voice Assistant (VIVA).

VIVA helps enterprises improve engagement strategies by utilising speech recognition and Natural Language Understanding (NLU) technology. With over 10 million hours of training data, VIVA has been deployed to help enterprises boost customer stickiness and loyalty through a deep understanding of the customer’s context and intent, the company said.

Skit was founded in 2016 by IIT Roorkee alumnus, Sourabh Gupta, and Akshay Deshraj.

The capital will be used for sales & marketing, building delivery capabilities, R&D to speed up innovation and further enhance the company’s products while expanding globally.

The company further added that the fundraising follows a Series A announcement in May 2020, led by Exfinity Ventures and Kalaari Capital, AngelList, with IAN Fund and LetsVenture also participating in the round. This Series B funding brings the startup’s total raise to USD 30 million.

The company plans to double down and scale operations in both Indian and global markets. Since the last fundraise, Skit has been able to increase its revenue and customer growth by over 4x building a strong partner network across industries such as banking, insurance, e-commerce, consumer durables, travel & logistics, among others. The company has strengthened its workforce by over 6x to prepare for future growth.

“This investment comes when we are making strategic inroads into the US and Southeast Asian markets. Clients and investors alike have recognized the uniqueness and superiority of our product and continue to show confidence in our growth path. The global contact center market size is expected to grow steadily and reach a value of 496 billion USD by 2027.

To address this sizable growth, we at Skit are using voice bot innovation and our market observations to personalize caller experiences at customer contact centers, and deliver up to 50 per cent (change) cost reduction and superior customer experience. We are driven by the passion of our clients and our team to change the way businesses interact with their customers,” said Sourabh Gupta, CEO, and Co-founder, Skit

“We are delighted to back Sourabh and Akshay as they continue to help global companies transform how customer service is delivered.

Skit’s success in helping India’s largest companies, positions them well to enter the US market where there is a massive need for voice AI solutions,” said Sashi Reddi, Venture Advisor to Westbridge Capital.

Anuradha Nagar

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