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SA venture capital firm Kalon Venture Partners and Mauritius-based VC Compass Capital today revealed that the investment that the two made last week in SA financial services chatbot providers FinChatBot — was $500 000 (over R7 million).
It follows an announcement made on Thursday last week (15 November) by the two investors during the AfricArena 2018 tech conference in Cape Town, that they had made an undisclosed investment.
FinChatBot develops chatbots to help financial service providers acquire and retain customers through artificial intelligence (AI) powered conversations. So far the startup has developed and services chatbot experiences for more than 10 top insurance companies and banks in South Africa.
The startup — which was founded in 2016 by Antoine Paillusseau (pictured above) and Romain Diaz — plan to use the investment to continue their rapid growth and expand their client base.
Kalon Venture Partners and Compass have made an undisclosed investment in SA financial services chatbot providers FinChatBot
In a statement yesterday Paillusseau commented that by implementing the startup’s chatbots, financial services providers are able to increase their conversion rates, reduce operational costs and gather more data about customers which can be used for product innovation and customer retention.
In September, Paillusseau told Ventureburn that the company — which at the time had 15 employees — is targeting a growth of more than 300% in 2018.
The startup’s main product is an AI component enabling users to optimise the tone of conversations to ensure better user experience.
He said with FinChatBot’s first set of iterations the startup has managed to help clients save an average of 15 minutes per agent managing an online sale, which is valued at R34 per agent per sale.
At the time he said he believed predictive analytics is “the next big thing” for South Africa in chatbot technology. It involves analysing collected data to create products and services that suit customers.
Yesterday, in the statement, he called the investment a “huge vote of confidence” for the startup.
Compass Capital partner Fabrice Boullé said in the same statement that the investor’s decision to invest in the startup was as much about its technology as about its leadership.
“FinChatBot’s business model, based on an unmatched expertise in creating chatbots for the financial services industry, struck us as ahead of the regional competition.
“But in the end, our investment decision was mainly motivated by our trust in Antoine’s capacity to lead FinChatBot to the top, as well as our appreciation for his straightforward personality and transparency.”
Clive Butkow, Kalon CEO, expressed excitement about the conclusion of this deal: “We identified FinChatBot as one of the leaders of this new industry, not only in the financial services industry but the chatbot eco-system as a whole”.
Editor’s note (19 November 2018): This story has been updated from the initial story published on 16 November, after FinChatBot today revealed the investment amount that it had received from SA venture capital firm Kalon Venture Partners and Mauritius-based VC Compass Capital (which was initially undisclosed).
Featured image: FinChatBot co-founder Antoine Paillusseau (Supplied)