SaleAssist.ai: Changing the game with real-time shopping assistants
Even if it is for an eyeshadow or a perfume, navigating a well-stocked cosmetics store isn’t easy. Then, a salesperson, who knows a lot more about skin types and formulation of the products, becomes a godsend. But can an online shop offer a customer a similar experience? That is, can it provide them with a helpful guide real-time? Yes, says SaleAssist.ai, which sets up live video-calling along with screen sharing and co-browsing facilities for e-commerce platforms. The start-up’s solution even makes possible group shopping experiences by allowing multiple people to log in to the same conversation.
For example, together and with live assistance, friends can even book a ‘safe-cation’ and buy everything needed for it.
The Gurugram-based company, founded by Deep Malik, Ashish Nanotkar and Chetan Jangir in February 2020, offers a subscription-based SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) platform. It has a per-agent, per-month pricing model of Rs.499 and Rs.999, depending on the features needed and the full package can be bought for Rs.6,000 per month.
Capitalising on the online shopping boom, SaleAssist.ai is focusing on seven segments including luxury fashion, jewellery, real estate, furniture, home decor, student travel, and financial instruments such as home loans and insurance sales. Besides this, their key execution strategy is to capture 2% of the market. Malik explains, “There may be 800,000 stores, but we need just 16,000 of these to achieve our revenue target.” The start-up, so far, has raised a funding of Rs.30 million from investors such as 100X.VC and expects to raise a billion by the end of FY22.
SalesAssist.ai is starting out in India and using the feedback to refine their product for international markets. The team plans to expand to Dubai and Singapore within the next six months, and then to the USA and Canada. In the global market, their biggest competitor would be Vidyard in Canada, but according to Malik, SalesAssist.ai has an advantage with its live-communication service over Vidyard that supports only recorded messages. “With our pricing and features, we will give them a tough competition,” Malik says and adds, “Sales worth $750 billion is lost annually, just because there is no engagement or personalisation experience. We can set that right.”
Vitra.ai: The translator that’s breaking language barriers
Anyone with a social-media presence wonders ‘how many people did my content reach?’ Social media teams are scratching their heads over SEO keywords and hatching tactics to score millions of views and likes. It is either this, or paying a hefty sum to the search-engine giant to amplify their message. Whatever way they choose, there is one tough barrier to cross when pitching to a global audience — language. Vitra.ai, a Bengaluru-based start-up, is here to change that with an easy-to-use translation tool.
Founders Satvik Jagannath and Akash Nidhi PS stumbled upon the idea way back in 2017, when they took the Google News Innovation Challenge. Their idea was rejected back then, but they came back to it in 2019, when they were looking for business ideas. For one, the market opportunity looked big.
Today, if a media or an edtech company wants to target a global audience, English content alone won’t do and any manual translation could take a couple of days. An hour-long video would require a transcriber, a linguistic expert, a dubbing artist and a studio. Using Vitra.ai’s website, things get done faster and with less effort — a 30-minute video can be translated within 10-12 minutes. This can be done using 50 different languages and 20 voices across age and gender, for video, audio, text and text-to-speech translation.
The tech goes beyond mere literal translation. It is context aware, says Jagannath, with semantic correction, auto-correction and auto-suggestion features. As long as the video quality is perfect and the use of language is right, he claims the translator can do its job with 100% accuracy and at a more competitive price. While regular subtitling companies charge up to $8 per minute, Vitra.ai charges $3 per minute.
Since its launch in December 2020, the start-up has onboarded 25 clients – 20 of which are B2B enterprises. It offers them monthly subscriptions for $49, $299 and $999 depending on the usage. For enterprises, it has custom plans ranging between $999 and $12,000. Till date, Vitra.ai has received Rs 2.5 million in funding from 100X.VC.
It is estimated that the global machine translation market, which was valued at $550 million in 2019, will grow at 17% CAGR and reach $1.5 billion by 2026. The start-up is looking to expand to the rest of Asia and push its revenue to $6.45 million by FY23. Their more immediate goal, by the end of 2021, is to win over 100 mid-tier companies.
With the edtech space booming and media houses looking to cut costs, Vitra.ai can easily find the customer base it needs to take root. It is competitively priced and has a comprehensive tool. However, it has to make sure that it does not slip up on one crucial differentiator — quality.