Raj is building his fifth company, a conversational AI platform and solutions venture. I really like the PaaS strategy.
Sramana Mitra: Let’s start by introducing our audience to yourself as well as the company.
Raj Koneru: I’m the Founder and CEO of Kore.ai. I’ve been an entrepreneur for about 25 years. Prior to this, I built about five companies, starting with an IT services company. The first two companies went public. The latest company that I built is called Kony, which is an enterprise mobile application platform.
Sramana Mitra: We know Kony well. We’ve covered Kony.
Raj Koneru: About six years ago, I decided to build this company called Kore.ai. This is a fast-growing company in the conversational AI space, which helps large enterprises automate their interactions with their customers, employees, and partners.
Sramana Mitra: If you could start us off with a bit of an ecosystem map of the conversational AI space, that would be great. It is not a crowded space, so it would be good to understand a bit of the players and the different approaches to conversational AI.
Raj Koneru: Conversational AI is a new space. It’s part of the overall AI landscape. It’s particularly used around automation use cases.
You have the large cloud tech players like Google, Microsoft, IBM, and Amazon who have capabilities in the space. Most of those are in the form of APIs that you use to be able to build your own platform and build a solution on top of that.
Then there are enterprise platform players like us who provide an enterprise platform for enterprises to use to deploy their use cases. Finally, there are vertical or horizontal solution players who provide a banking or HR solution.
They generally don’t provide a platform. They provide basic capabilities around the technology. On the front end, they provide a solution.
Over time, much like what I saw with Kony, it consolidates many players. There are two or three primary players that enterprises can focus on. This space has started to consolidate. We are emerging as a leader in the space, particularly for large enterprises to deploy enterprise-wide conversational AI.
Sramana Mitra: What is your primary use case?
Raj Koneru: We support creation of virtual assistants for both customer and employee experiences. On the customer side, the primary use case is around automating customer support.
On the employee side, we provide a product called Kora, which is an enterprise virtual assistant. It’s like a Google assistant for employees. It has multiple components. It has a productivity assistant, which integrates with your Office365 or G Suite.
Much like a human assistant, you can ask it to book meetings for you. You can store knowledge and retrieve knowledge. You can do search across multiple knowledge bases. It can manage your tasks for you.
We also have other assistants that can be added to Kora like an IT support assistant. There’s an HR assistant as well as a sales assistant. Those are the broad use cases that we support.