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Slang Labs gets funding from Google Assistant fund, others

Chennai: Bengaluru-based Slang Labs has raised $500,000 from Google Assistant and others, making it the first in-app voice assistant company to be backed by the search giant. 100x Entrepreneurs, Velu Murugan, Thomas George and Endiya Partners also participated in the fundraising.

‘Slang Conva’ is the company’s voice assistant-as-a-service, which allows e-commerce firms to integrate a multilingual in-app voice assistant into their platforms.

“So they (Google) typically back companies that build skills on top of Google Assistant. We are the first in-app voice assistant, a parallel assistant framework, that they have backed,” said Kumar Rangarajan, co-founder and chief executive at Slang Labs.

The funding will be used to scale operations, and sales and marketing efforts, Rangajan said, adding that the company is also eyeing an overseas foray by the end of this year.

“Right now the markets that we’re looking at are the English-speaking markets to start with, like the US, Australia, England and then we’re also talking Middle East. We already are in conversation with a few customers in those markets,” he said.

Slang Labs has seen a spike in customer growth, especially in the current quarter. According to Rangarajan, the company has seen more customer interactions and integrations in the current quarter than all of last year. The company is working with brands such as BigBasket, and RedBus, among others. A number of other large clients would be finalised over the next few months.

According to Rangarajan, the company’s growth is being driven by the increased penetration of e-commerce in India, particularly in Tier II and III cities.

“Last year, more than 40% of e-commerce transactions came from Tier II and III cities. More and more brands are realising that they need to be able to provide a much better customer experience than they had traditionally been providing,” he said. “That experience powered by voice is the lowest-hanging fruit, the easiest way for them to…reach out to a lot more people.”

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