Snap Inc. Buys Israeli Startup

Snap Inc. Buys Israeli Startup Voca.ai For USD 70 Million

Business

The US-based social media giant Snap Inc has acquired Voca.ai. Voca.ai is an Israeli startup. It was founded in 2017 with an objective to revolutionize the call center industry. The firm is known for developing Artificial Intelligence-based virtual agents. They are called Voca Agents. The agents are designed to assist businesses to support customer service. The two companies are yet to make an official announcement about the deal. It is believed that Snap Inc purchased the Israeli firm for USD 70 million. Snap Inc is well known for developing the hugely popular social media platform Snapchat. The start-up has set up offices in different parts of the world including in New York.

According to the Israeli firm, it raised USD 6 million in 2019 from American Express Ventures. The company wants to bring qualitative reforms in the industry with Voca Agents. The Voca Agents comes with both human expertise and artificial intelligence capabilities. The agents help to transform the way call centers interact with customers. Its speech-to-intent technology offers support to customers just like humans. The conversations are intent-based. It is entirely different from other virtual agents. Other virtual agents use speech-to-text and then process text. The Voca Agents have even the ability to adjust the language, voice, and accent. The company said that Voca Agents respond to customers in a very pleasant manner. It gives a human-like experience.

It doesn’t have robotic exchanges like other virtual agents. The robotic conversations often lack empathy and natural language. They even fail to address the concerns of customers. Voca.ai said that its bot can replace human representatives at call centers. Once the acquisition process is over, all its staff will be integrated into Snap Inc. Its bot can also be adapted for other purposes. This is not Snap Inc’s first acquisition of an Israeli startup. Snap Inc in 2016 bought augmented reality startup Cimagine. Meanwhile, Snap’s stock saw a jump of nearly 7 percent following reports of acquisition.

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