Launching India’s first Artificial Intelligence fueled Messenger Chatbot — Niki
Niki, the AI fueled bot, built to make discovery and transactions simple, has launched her chatbot on Messenger. Niki envisions to be the gateway of everything commerce by enabling conversations between brands and consumers. In a single chat interface, she can help you with cab bookings, utility bill payments and mobile recharges, with plans to provide food ordering, flight bookings, hotel reservations and movie ticketing very soon.
Niki.ai was founded in early 2015 by four IIT Kharagpur Alumni — Sachin Jaiswal, Keshav Prawasi, Nitin Babel and Shishir Modi and has now grown to a 25 member global team. They are backed by Mr. Ratan Tata and Unilazer Ventures. Having been in development for a year, it has generated significant traction on its Android Application with over 75,000 users. Team Niki has the most advanced bot available on Facebook Messenger now and overtime will power transactional use cases for its 45+ brand partners across 20+ service domains through this one chat channel. The platform launch is to enable the product reach out to the masses and be more user friendly. With the introduction of Niki’s Messenger chatbot, users will be able to multi-task, chatting with friends and shopping could be performed on the same chat application now!
Niki is built on technologies of advanced Natural Language Processing and Machine Learning, directed towards becoming your go-to person for transacting online. Keshav Prawasi, CTO, Niki.ai says, “Niki aims to be omnipresent, plugged and used on any interface, whether Android, iOS, Messaging, Mobile OS, Wearables or otherwise. The integration with Messenger is a step towards this mission and the same backend is powering all platforms now. An instance of Niki (in form of SDK — Software Development Kit) will be available for any brand too, to integrate on their platforms and use.” This enables the brands to replicate the entire transactional experience across services over a chat interface and add value for their consumers.
With the messenger launch, Niki will be able to provide her seamless experience across all devices (smartphones, desktop) and platforms (Android, iOS, Windows). This also eliminates the barrier of installing and registering on the application. Niki has proved to be a substitute for several applications on the android platform, and now she is relieving consumers of all the hassles of depending on multiple mobile applications. This also marks the launch of the first of its kind in-chat payment option on Messenger where you can pay for your transactions without leaving the chat interface. Cab booking on messenger bot would be one unique service to look out for as Niki is going to be the very first medium to facilitate end to end experience (discover, book, track, cancel) on desktops and smartphones, the easiest and fastest way there has ever been!
Team Niki has built a stateful dialog manager to handle conversations which remembers the context of the conversation to engage in a two way dialog with the user, thus helping them get things done over chat. It has multiple patents on the several pieces of technology which has been built from ground up over the past year of existence. Over several iterations, their ML models have evolved with the conversational data they have generated via their existing user base.
Sachin Jaiswal, CEO, Niki.ai says, “With the launch of the Niki Bot on Facebook, we hope to provide our users a one-stop solution for getting all their daily needs done, an easily accessible platform with no entry barriers or resistance. This is one major step in the direction of simplifying the shopping experience and enabling the complete ordering process on chat.”
Chatbots have been much talked about in the recent weeks, with Facebook opening its Messenger platform for developers during the F8 conference. Microsoft, Slack, Telegram, Kik — all have opened their platforms to develop chatbots. It’s been considered the next leap in innovation as we move towards “bots as the new apps”. Google too announced their own chat App Allo powered by machine learning capabilities being considered as their answer to Amazon’s Echo.