Venture Capital News: x.ai Pulls In $23M
NEW YORK, NY, x.ai, a developer of a virtual personal assistant, has raised $23 million in new VC funding.
According to Business Insider, x.ai just raised a $23 million round of funding. x.ai is the company behind Amy Ingram, a virtual PA designed to schedule meetings for busy executives by taking away the long email trail that usually goes with getting time in the calendar.
To use Amy Ingram, users just need to link their calendars and then CC firstname.lastname@example.org into their next email conversation about setting up a meeting. Amy then takes over, chatting to their contact like a real PA to organize the best time, date, and location. The next thing the user receives is a calendar invite.
x.ai claims some recipients of Amy's emails in the beta testing of the product have found her to be so realistic, they have even sent flowers and chocolates to what they assumed was her office.
Amy Ingram will launch out of beta in late summer and will have a similar pricing strategy to other business platforms such as Dropbox and Slack -- there will be an entry-level free version, but users and entire enterprises can opt to upgrade to professional and business editions, with the paid-for tier expected to start at around $10 per month.
The virtual PA will be channel agnostic, working not just across email, but other messaging services such as SMS, slack, or social networks. Amy is also language agnostic -- she wasn't built just to understand English, she was built to understand 'the language of meetings' so you could potentially send a meeting request to a colleague in Denmark, who chats to Amy in Danish, copies in a contact in China who speaks to Amy in Mandarin, and then you receive the calendar invite back in English.
x.ai currently has 65 staff, which consists of a data science team, a back-end engineering team, and other roles including 'AI trainers' and data annotators. The company plans to use the new investment to create an acquisition team and an enterprise sales team, Dennis Mortensen, CEO, said.
x.ai's Series B round brings the company's total funding to date to $33.3 million. The latest round of financing was led by Two Sigma Ventures. DCM Ventures, Work-Bench Ventures, Crunchfund, Pritzker Group Venture Capital, IA Ventures, Lerer Hippeau Ventures, Firstmark Capital and Softbank Capital / SBNY also participated.
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