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AiChat enables businesses to manage chatbots on popular messaging apps


'Entrepreneurship is not an easy journey; it takes a lot of hard work and sacrifices. However, it is definitely worthwhile as the amount of experience and knowledge gained is priceless' - Kester Poh, Co-Founder & CEO of AiChat. 

Singapore-based AiChat is an AI chatbot startup providing bot-as-a-service platform that allows businesses to manage chatbots on popular messaging apps such as Facebook Messenger, to automates processes in sales and marketing, customer service, CRM and monitoring of customer’s data.

AiChat recently launched a eCommerce chatbot, a virtual lighting assistant, for Philips Lighting Singapore which allows users to get product recommendations based on their inputs and make payment directly within Facebook Messenger. We are also working with companies from various industries such as retail, F&B, media, events, tourism and hospitality.



In an exclusive interview with Startup Terminal, Kester Poh, Co-Founder & CEO of AiChat shares more insights about the company and future goals.

Excerpts:

ST: Tell us more about AiChat. How did you get the idea of AiChat?

AiChat is a Singapore-based AI chatbot startup providing bot-as-a-service platform that allows businesses to manage chatbots on popular messaging apps such as Facebook Messenger, to automates processes in sales and marketing, customer service, CRM and monitoring of customer’s data.

The idea was inspired by WeChat, we were quite amazed by how people in China are interacting and transacting within the app - 40% of the users are actually talking to businesses using the app. We started exploring the idea of "conversational commerce" in late 2015, operating as digital shopping concierge service via WhatsApp. Initially, we wanted to create a chatbot to automate some of our replies, but it turns out that the bot managed to close some sales on its own. This got us excited to build a platform to manage chatbot more efficiently, before we realized it could be a business on its own.

(L to R) Matthew Low, Head of Product; Kester Poh, CEO; Yong Siong Wee, CTO 

ST: How has your entrepreneurship journey been so far? Who all are your potential and existing clients?

Entrepreneurship is not a easy journey, it takes a lot of hard work and sacrifices. However, it is definitely worthwhile as the amount of experience and knowledge gained is priceless.

We've recently launched a eCommerce chatbot, a virtual lighting assistant, for Philips Lighting Singapore which allows users to get product recommendations based on their inputs and make payment directly within Facebook Messenger. We are also working with companies from various industries such as retail, F&B, media, events, tourism and hospitality.

ST: How do you leverage ‘Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence’ in terms of providing highly automated and customised solutions for businesses?

We use natural language processing and machine learning techniques to understand user's intention from the conversation data to help automate replies. This helps to free up the customer service team from answering the repetitive questions and allows them to focus on the more complex questions. Through predictive AI, our bot is also able to analyze and understand the customers' taste and preference, thus providing a more personalized experience for them.

ST: What is your present team size? Are you looking to hire more?

We are team of 4 now and actively looking for engineers and AI researchers to join our team.



ST: As an entrepreneur, what challenges do you face in your day to day professional life, if any?

Besides juggling between the hectic schedule to meet clients and partners, and operating the business, I also need make a lot of decisions daily, from big, company-impacting decisions, to tiny, hour-affecting ones.



ST: Can you explain your business model? How do you generate revenue streams?
There's a one-time setup fee and annual platform license fee.

ST: Would you like to give some tips to young aspiring startup enthusiasts?

Don't procrastinate, the best way to know if your idea works is to start working on it.

Send your feedback to startupterminal@gmail.com



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