Shanghai-based artificial intelligence (AI) startup Emotibot has closed its $45 million Series B+, aiming to improve the emotion-sensing capabilities of robots in human-machine interaction.
Why it matters: The company lists social media and gaming giant Tencent, video streaming firm iQiyi, and robot maker UBTech as its partners.
- Emotibot also works with China Merchants Bank, China Minsheng Bank, and China Mobile, according to its website.
- The company provides its computer vision and natural language processing (NLP) capabilities, as well as visual and voice emotion-recognition services to the financial, e-commerce, call center, and smart device industries.
Details: Emotibot’s latest round was led by V Fund Management, Linfeng Capital, and an undisclosed strategic investor. Puhua Capital, Keywise Capital, and VC Keywise Capital also participated.
- Emotibot said it will use the latest investment for continued NLP research and to develop its Bot Factory service, a platform that allows companies to create their own chatbots.
- Huawei has built an employee service platform using Bot Factory, which allows its staff to query issues including reimbursements and IT problems.
Context: Emotibot focuses on building chatbots that are able to identify emotional responses in humans, which the company believes is the next step in the evolution of artificial intelligence.
- Founded in 2015 by former Microsoft director Kenny Chien, Emotibot raised $30 million in its Series B last year.
- In 2017, the State Council, China’s cabinet, laid out plans to become a world leader in artificial intelligence by 2030.
- Emotibot is one of a slew of companies hoping to profit from the country’s national ambitions.