Search giant Google recently made news thanks to it’s acquisition of Onward, an AI-based customer service startup.
As a result, cofounders of the company including Pramod Thammaiah and Remi Cossart are expected to join Google alongside a few of Onward’s employees. So far, the startup has secured a modest $120,000 in two rounds of private financing.
“We started Onward with the mission of allowing computers to participate in natural, human conversations. With Google, we’ll be able to expand the reach of the technologies that power Onward. These core technologies are what got us excited in the first place, and we are excited to bring them to Google,” the Onward team posted to the company’s site.
Onward’s enterprise chatbot framework took advantage of natural language processing to draw meaning from client’s messages. The platform can contextualize and personalize its responses to queries through drawing on signals such as historical activity, login status, and location.
Onward’s visual bot maker, which allows customers to customize answers with decision trees afforded more customization. What’s more, its bots can independently keep track of conversations, track shipments and orders as well as add leads, all thanks to integrations with Solidus, Spree, Shopify, Hubspot, Salesforce, Help Scout and Zendesk.
Before the launch of Onward’s business-based software-as-a-service or (SaaS), the company introduced Agent Q, a virtual assistant that generated product suggestions on command. Q responded on a combination of a data-aggregating system and human agents that brought in prices and reviews from all over the web.
The purchase of Onward comes a few months after the launching of Google’s Contact Center AI, which is a machine learning-driven virtual customer rep that communicates with callers via the phone. Aside from fielding incoming telephone calls, it utilizes complex natural language processing to recommend solutions to typical issues. Also, in case the virtual agent cannot solve the caller ’s problem, it transfers him or her to a human agent.