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1Mby1M Deal Radar 2019: Amplify.ai, Palo Alto, CA

Posted on Friday, Apr 12th 2019

According to Statistics MRC, the global contact center market was estimated to be $26 billion in 2018. Amplify.ai claims to be the industry’s first and only AI-driven engagement platform that amplifies customer engagement with immersive and persistent conversations. Its end-to-end platform offers tools to measure, optimize and manage the full lifecycle of a brand experience.

Amplify.ai was founded in 2016 by Mahi de Silva (CEO), Manoj Malhotra (CTO), Ram Moskovitz (CCO), and Adam Schuetz (VP, Engineering). They have been together for over 16 years and have together scaled several businesses to more than $500 million in revenue. They were inspired in 2015 by how hundreds of millions of consumers in China used a social messaging platform WeChat to connect, communicate and transact with brands. They were also inspired by the vast computer power of cloud computing platforms like Amazon AWS that made it feasible for a startup to operate AI systems at scale at a very reasonable cost. These came together as a new AI-powered platform to help brands “amplify” customer engagement on social media and the web.

The NLP-driven front-end of the Amplify.ai platform enables a brand to precisely measure consumer sentiment and intent, delivering the insight they need to determine how best to engage with their customers. This ensures that their platform stands apart from its competitors who use pre-coded, simple phrase mapping typical of chatbots but claim to be using AI.

Initially, Amplify.ai focused on scaling its conversational dataset over monetization. For this, they saw India, the largest mobile-first market outside of China, as the ideal first geographic market. They did free trials in multiple markets to get to a billion consumer engagements and 100 million conversations, sufficient for priming their Machine Learning.

Along the way, they could see which applications in which verticals had the clearest ROI. The first vertical for which they proved product-market fit was media, specifically news publishers. Amplify.ai helped them leverage their Facebook presence and spend to extend engagement to Facebook Messenger and Whatsapp to amplify engagement, organic reach, and ad-driven revenue. In South East Asia, six of the top ten new/media companies are on their platform. More recently, they’ve proven product-market fit with e-commerce and political organizations and not-for-profits. They’ve been ramping the monetization efforts and been replicating wins in the U.S. and around the world.

Today, the Amplify.ai platform handles over 2.5 billion brand interactions with over 175 million global consumers who use popular social networks and messaging applications every day. It Currently supports Facebook, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Instagram, RCS, desktop and mobile web, in-app integrations, Facebook’s Click-to-Messenger ads, and Google’s Adlingo ad unit. Its customers are able to build deep profiles for how consumers interact with their brands and do so at scale. For example, Amplify.ai has become the highest-converting customer acquisition channel for a major events brand.

Amplify.ai’s top market segments include e-commerce brands, telecom, media companies, and political organizations. It follows a volume-based pricing model and plans start at $999/month.

Measurable gains include:

  • 90% of users contacted by the Amplify.ai Proactive Responder have become opt-in subscribers
  • 9% of overall traffic now comes via the Amplify.ai Engagement Engine
  • 55,000 opt-in subscribers were acquired in just the first six months
  • 8% increase in e-commerce transactions

Amplify.ai believes that the global Conversational Commerce will represent a $29 billion TAM by 2025. The company expects the inbound contact volume to grow by at least 10x to reach 170 billion sessions by the end of 2025 and that 85% or 145 billion sessions will be handled by AI-powered systems. Part of this rapid growth in volume will be supported by a dramatic reduction in cost, where the cost per session will be reduced to $0.20 from $1.53 per phone call in 2018.

Amplify.ai easily exceeded its first milestone of $1 million ARR and expects to generate single digit millions of revenues in 2019. Last year, the company focused primarily on scaling our conversational dataset for the purposes Machine Learning, building a “data moat” out of 2.5 billion consumer engagements. It plans to continue to focus on proving its natural language processing (NLP) and ML engines at scale.

Amplify.ai was initially bootstrapped by its founders. In early 2017, the company raised $3 million in a seed investment led by Costanoa Ventures, SV Angel and several independent angels. It plans to raise more money in the form of a Series A round from venture capital firms.

Amplify.ai is headquartered in Palo Alto in Silicon Valley and runs a global business with clients in the US, EU, Australia and South East Asia, and a significant presence in Delhi, India.

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