Agara, the startup building the next generation of virtual voice agents for enterprises, on Wednesday announced a $4.3 million Pre-Series A extension round led by UTEC, a Japan-based early stage deep-tech venture capital firm. The round also saw participation from existing investors Blume Ventures and RTP Global.
This brings the total funds raised by Agara to $7.5 million and includes bluechip investors Kleiner Perkins.
Headquartered in New York, Agara plans to double its team of ML research executives and data scientists in 2021. The company also plans to establish its first pure AI research team at Bengaluru in 2021.
“Whether it is sales calls, phone support or product feedback, voice has been the top choice for companies around the globe. We strive to be pioneers in the voice-first world. With the new Covid norms, we expect the demand for virtual voice agents to rise manifold,” said Abhimanyu, Co-founder and CEO of Agara.
“Last year, we processed over a million calls and a million emails in 12 countries across every continent in four languages. With the new surge in demand, we are confident of increasing this number to over five million calls,” Abhimanyu added.
Founded by Abhimanyu and Arjun Maheswaran in 2017, Agara develops virtual voice agents that leverage proprietary machine learning models to understand intentions in speech, make intelligent decisions to handle queries, and talk individual customers through to a resolution.
Agara, in less than four years, has six patents (filed in the USA) under its belt. The ML/AI-based system patents have been developed by Agara’s team to help its voice agents understand, classify and summarise language. For instance, one of their patents in ‘Controlled Natural Language Generation’ allows their voice agents to create meaningful dialogs without any human intervention.
Agara claims to have been a revenue-generating business since inception and the company now supports some of the largest global enterprises. This includes Procter & Gamble, the American multinational consumer goods corporation, who it helps to process customer support queries for 160 brands in 10 countries across three continents.
The funding will also be used to accelerate product development and make a number of strategic hires in Agara’s technology department as well as growing the sales and marketing team in North America.
“As a deep-tech fund, UTEC was impressed with Agara’s autonomous Voice AI agent powered by voice-first Applied ML algorithms and real-world data. Agara’s product-led growth puts them in the pole position to be a category-defining enterprise Voice AI company. We aim to supplement Agara through client and Go- to-market partnerships with Japanese MNCs,” added Kiran Mysore, Principal at UTEC.