Series B: We’re betting big on Voice AI – and you should too

Kun Wu

Co-Founder and Managing Director, AI Rudder

It has been an amazing run for AI Rudder, with the ubiquity of technology and SaaS allowing us to positively impact businesses around the world – from Mexico to Australia. Our vision has always been far-reaching, and we’re excited for our next phase of growth. 

Our team has recently closed a US$50 million Series B funding round. With the support of both new investors Tiger Global, Coatue, Cathay Innovation, First Plus, VenturesLab and existing investors Sequoia Capital India and Huashan Capital, this brings our total funding in the last 12 months to US$60 million. But what does this mean for us? 

The global demand for responsive customer service brought about by the pandemic has propelled growth for AI Rudder. Over the last year, we experienced a massive surge, with an impressive 400% year-on-year increase in revenue. New funding means we can expand our horizons further — things we thought wouldn’t be possible for another couple of years — are set to happen sooner. 

The Potential for Voice AI: We’ve only just begun

In recent years, organisations have started to prioritise automation and digitalisation, as they seek to elevate customer experiences. In 2021, as many as 77% of local companies said they were prioritising customer experience. This is more than we can say for 2020 and in effect put Singapore ahead of the pack in Asia-Pacific. 

Amidst the greater need for better and more personal customer service, conversational AI-powered bots (or voice AI) have emerged as an increasingly viable option for businesses. Our research shows that 30% more businesses plan to start using technologies like automated robots and speech analytics in 2022, whereas another 25% are investing in chatbots and virtual assistants.

Its 24/7 availability delivers a tailored digital experience in a true ‘anytime, anywhere’ manner that has become a staple in this era of digitalisation — especially for financial services and banking

There’s another less apparent but game-changing advantage of Voice AI: compared to other technology – Voice AI makes consumers feel valued and connected. According to a research article in Psychology & Marketing Journal, Unveiling the drivers of consumers’ trust in voice‐based artificial intelligence, Voice AI has been proven to elicit a sense of social presence and perceived interactivity for customers. This is the holy grail for CX businesses. 

How can we spread the word of Voice AI and go Global? 

The pandemic has accelerated the digital-first economy, with companies moving experiences to digital channels and ramping up AI adoption. However, this transition to conversational AI-powered chatbots and voice bots is not without its challenges.  

For one, consumers remain sceptical of automated solutions, and the increasing number of robo scam calls are proving a deterrent.  

As Voice AI solution providers navigate these challenges – it is important to reinforce to the general public that AI does not come at the expense of real human relationships. In fact, AI Rudder is here to build human-AI relations, by empowering brands to supercharge customer experience with voice AI.  

Consider Asia, which is a highly diverse region brimming with a myriad of languages and local slang and sentiment. Businesses more often than not tend to outsource their customer communications to call centres in order to support the region’s multilingual needs and attend to large volumes of customers. Even with that, call centres may be unable to offer the scale, versatility and affordability that businesses desire. 

With Voice AI, our voice assistants understand and speak multiple languages, even with regional accents and dialects. They can also automatically switch between multiple languages for better customer engagement, so that consumers will always be able to communicate their needs and feel right at home. AI Rudder currently supports more than 15 languages including English, Bahasa, Chinese, Hindi, Spanish, Tagalog, Tamil, Thai, Vietnamese. However, we’re also looking to add Arabic, Cantonese, French, German, Japanese, Korean and Portuguese to better support our global customers and address pain points in the broader Voice AI space. 

We are in a transformational era where brands need to find different ways to personalise experiences in an increasingly transactional world. From SMEs to industry giants, the world is placing its bets on the power of Voice AI. The question now is – are you?