Reliance Jio acquires AI-based start-up Haptik in Rs700-cr deal

Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) on Wednesday announced that its subsidiary Reliance Jio Digital Services Limited (RJDSL) has entered into a definitive business transfer agreement with Haptik Infotech Pvt Ltd. 

The initial business transfer will cost Reliance Jio Rs230 crore, while the transaction size, including investment for growth and expansion, is estimated to be about Rs700 crore. 
The Haptik team will continue to drive growth of the business, including the enterprise platform as well as digital consumer assistants. On a fully diluted basis Reliance will hold about 87 per cent of the business with the rest being held by Haptik founders and employees through stock option grants.
This transaction enables Reliance Jio to leverage Haptik’s capabilities across various devices and touch points in the consumer’s journey. The investment focus is on enhancement and expansion of the platform, with an addressable market opportunity of over 1 billion users in India. This partnership will also give a boost to Haptik’s existing enterprise grade business, with the company continuing to build innovative AI solutions for corporates globally.
“This strategic investment underlines our commitment to further boost the digital ecosystem and provide Indian users conversational AI enabled devices with multi-lingual capabilities. We believe voice interactivity will be the primary mode of interaction for Digital India. We are delighted to announce this partnership, and look forward to working with the experienced team of Haptik in realising this vision for offering greater connectivity and rich communication experiences to the billion+ Indian consumers,” Akash Ambani, director, Reliance Jio, said.
“We started with the idea that conversational interfaces will cause a paradigm shift in the way people get things done. Over the course, we have built various products across both consumer and enterprise businesses, with the backbone always being a full stack chat and voice enabled AI technology platform,” Aakrit Vaish, co-founder and CEO of Haptik, said.
“We truly believe now is the opportunity to serve the next billion users who come online, and who better to partner with than one of the world’s largest digital ecosystems in Jio. We look forward to using this strategic opportunity to exponentially scale up the business across various product lines,” he added.
Founded by Aakrit Vaish and Swapan Rajdev in 2013, Haptik is now one of the world's largest conversational AI platforms that offers a chat based virtual concierge mobile application. Over the last two years, the focus has been on technology enhancement and enterprise grade solutions. 
It has processed more than 2 billion interactions till date, with a marquee client list that includes Samsung, Coca-Cola, Future Retail, KFC, Tata Group, Oyo Rooms, Mahindra Group, among others. The company focuses on key customer engagement use cases such as customer support, concierge, lead generation and live chat. 
Haptik was the first company globally to open source a conversation based Entity Detection engine, and was recently awarded Frost & Sullivan’s Conversational AI Company of the year 2018. 
In April 2016, Haptik had raised capital from Times Internet who will exit the business as a part of this transaction.