The companies have raised more than $120M in aggregate and are active in areas as diverse as comparison shopping and healthcare.
The competition among Siri, Cortana, Google Now, Alexa, and Facebook’s M (still in its early stages), has kept the spotlight on virtual assistants for the last couple of years. The assistants and the AI technologies that power them have piqued the interest of venture capitalists as well.
“Having written a bad version of ELIZA [an early-stage natural language processing program] as one of my earliest programs, I have been excited about the prospect of conversing with machines for a long time. So I will be watching this development closely…” Union Square Ventures’ Albert Wenger wrote in his blog.
We’ve identified 21 startups working in the virtual assistant space or providing underlying technology to power digital assistants that either received either Series B, Series A, or seed/angel funds since 2015. This post was updated on 6/15/2016 adding 7 startups, including Julie Desk and Ozlo, to the list.
These startups have raised over $120M in aggregate and are focused on several industry categories, including health & wellness, HR & workplace management, customer relationship management, comparison shopping, and healthcare.
The most well-funded startup on the list is x.ai. The company has been in the news for its personal e-mail assistant, Amy Ingram. Several other startups are working in the scheduling assistants space, including Clara Labs, Julie Desk, Kono, and Overlap.
The second most well-funded startups on the list is London-based Babylon Health. As we mentioned in our research on artificial intelligence in healthcare, the company raised a $25M Series A round from investors including Google-owned DeepMind Technologies, Kinnevik and Hoxton Ventures, and will reportedly roll out a Siri-like voice interface this year that will give users health advice.
|Company||Description||Total Funding (USD)||Select Investors|
|x.ai||Scheduling assistant||$34.23M||FirstMark Capital, IA Ventures, Lerer Hippeau Ventures, Pritzker Group Venture Capital;Softbank Capital|
|Babylon Health||Digital healthcare platform developing an AI interface||$24.94M||Kinnevik, DeepMind Technologies, Hoxton Ventures|
|Ozlo||AI-based chat bot to find restaurants||$14M||AME Cloud Ventures, Greylock Partners|
|Maluuba||Improving human-machine interactions using natural-language processing and deep learning technologies||$8.2M||Emerillon Capital, Nautilus Venture Partners, Samsung Ventures|
|GoButler||Virtual assitant to commerce, including flight infomation and deliveries||$8M||BoxGroup, Cherry Ventures, General Catalyst Partners, Global Founders Capital, Lakestar, Slow Ventures, Sound Ventures|
|DigitalGenius||AI assistant that helps companies engage with customers||$7.1M||Lerer Hippeau Ventures, Lowercase Capital, Lumia Capital, Metamorphic Ventures, RRE Ventures|
|Your.MD||Health assistant for smarphones||$5M||Smedvig Capital|
|Luka.ai||Messenger that connects users to various bots depending on the task||$4.54M||Ludlow Ventures, Sherpa Capital, Y Combinator|
|Talla||Workplace assistance using Hipchat, Gchat, and Slack||$4.03M||Avalon Ventures|
|Sense.ly||Virtual nursing assistant for post-discharge care||$3.79M||Alchemist Accelerator, Fenox Venture Capital, Launchpad Digital Health, TA Ventures, TMCx|
|Mezi||Personal shopping assistant||$2.8M||Nexus Venture Partners|
|Howdy||AI bot for teams||$1.5M||Betaworks, Bloomberg Beta, True Ventures|
|Gluru||Asists with file organization and information extraction||$1.5M||GECAD Group, Playfair Capital|
|Uniphore Software Systems||Speech recognition and analytics||$1M||IDG Ventures India, Stata Venture Partners, YourNest Angel Fund|
|Arya||AI-driven research assistant||$0.75M||VentureNursery, YourNest Angel Fund|
|Julie Desk||E-mail assistant||$0.66M||SIDE Capital|
|Mona Labs||Mobile shopping assistant||$0.12M||TechStars|
|Kono||Scheduling meetings||$0.08M||500 Accelerator|
|Niki.ai||Android chat bot for booking a cab and recharging your phone, among other things||NA||Ratan Tata, Unilazer Ventures|
|Overlap||E-mail based scheduling assistant||NA||Genacast Ventures|
|Clara Labs||E-mail-based scheduling assistant||NA||Sequoia Capital, Y Combinator|
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