Observe.AI Wants to Use AI to Help Customer Service Agents—Not Make Them Obsolete

A start-up with roots in the United States and India, Observe.AI just secured $8 million in funding to continue developing its artificial intelligence-powered call center system. Nexus Venture Partners led the funding round for the young start-up, with participation from MGV, Liquid 2 Ventures, Hack VC, and existing investors Emergent Ventures and Y Combinator.

While many companies that are working to bring artificial intelligence to the call center aim to eventually replace some tasks performed by humans, Observe.AI is somewhat different in that its goal is to keep humans around, which the cofounder and CEO of Observe.AI, Swapnil Jain, made clear in a company statement:

“Humans like talking to humans because it gives them a sense of assurance, which is at the core of a delightful customer experience. We are using the power of AI to make that voice conversation even more delightful by equipping the customer support agent with the tools needed while the call is going on.... The agent no longer needs to place customers on hold, or transfer them around; continuous engagement is established until a successful resolution is reached. Our agent-first approach is all about making the job of the agent easier, which translates into better productivity and higher customer satisfaction,” 

So far, the company has developed technology that leverages artificial intelligence—specifically deep learning and natural language processing—to auto-complete forms during calls, suggest next steps for agents, help them find content in their knowledge management systems quickly, and take care of other basic tasks.

Observe.AI also stands out in that it’s tapping call centers directly, rather than seeking to do business with the companies that rely on call centers. Plus, co-founders Jain, CTO Akash Singh, and CRO Sharath Keshava are taking time to get to know the inner workings of a support center, visiting locations from big support providers in India and the Philippines.

That insider knowledge is giving the company a unique advantage as it continues to grow, and is proving “super, super valuable… someone in the U.S. can’t even think about it,” Jain told TechCrunch.

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