OpenDialog AI launches with $5M seed funding
OpenDialog AI, a newly launched company setting out to unlock the potential of conversational AI technology, has raised $5m in its initial seed round of funding.
The funding was secured in only four weeks, with an oversubscription of potential investors, indicative of a sector that is expected to grow to an estimated $46bn market globally by 2028, according to Data Bridge. The investment will be used for further product development and to support expansion plans in the UK and other major markets globally.
The founding team behind OpenDialog AI includes technology entrepreneur, Terry Walby - founder and CEO of Thoughtonomy, which sold to Blue Prism for $100M in 2019, Dean Chapman, who was previously the Chief Commercial Officer of Thoughtonomy, and Dr Ronald Ashri who led the research on which OpenDialog's AI capabilities are built.
Dr Ashri has overseen the incubation of the technology since its initial inception in 2019, working with experts in the field and validating with potential clients and use cases to create a market-ready, enterprise-class SaaS platform.
Terry Walby, co-founder of OpenDialog AI commented: ‘OpenDialog will finally enable businesses and consumers to realize the game-changing potential of conversational AI - moving beyond the often painful experiences delivered by current chatbots and AI assistants. The market has been crying out for a solution like this, one that not only drives real operational efficiencies but also enhances and joins up customer experience across a wide range of channels.’
The three co-founders came together to commercialise and further develop the product to address the challenges and issues with existing conversational AI technologies and build an ambitious new company in the space - one that will transform how humans interact with machines.
Walby continued: ‘We've brought together a highly experienced team that is incredibly excited about the potential of this technology, and this initial round of funding will enable us to quickly scale the business and build on the foundations that are already in place.’
OpenDialog is a conversational AI platform to design, develop and deploy smarter human-to-machine conversations. It enables brands to have truly engaging interactions and has already secured several high-profile brands as customers including; BDO, Peppercorn Insurance and The Cyber Helpline.
Commenting on the impact of OpenDialog, Daniel Gweder, head of innovation, BDO Switzerland, said, ‘OpenDialog enables us to provide innovative and automated support for our clients in a highly regulated environment. To my knowledge, it is the only tool to provide such a seamless integration of services and technologies to support our collaboration with clients’.
OpenDialog delivers value to enterprises of all sizes and across virtually every industry and, being a SaaS product, it's extremely easy and quick to implement. OpenDialog has a no-code conversation designer which enables businesses to create amazing customer experiences that are immediately deployable. Recent use cases include a legal firm using the platform to triage the eligibility of applicants for a class-action lawsuit, a pharmaceutical company interacting with people reporting adverse effects from their drugs, and a challenger within the insurance market deploying the platform across its customer-facing channels to deliver increased efficiency.
Commenting on the technology, Dr Ronald Ashri, co-founder of OpenDialog AI, said: ‘Conversational AI is changing how humans use computer systems. For the last 40 years, the way people interact with machines has remained the same - a keyboard, a mouse and a screen. We have to understand how to use the machines in a way that fits into their very narrow and limited capabilities for interaction. But we're turning this on its head, putting the onus on technology to understand humans. OpenDialog, through a novel combination of AI techniques, introduces a new approach for facilitating natural, context-rich conversations with machines and makes these capabilities easily accessible to all enterprises.’