Ask-AI gets $11M to advance customer support

Key Takeaways:

– Ask-AI has launched a new enterprise AI assistant called ASK, which is designed to empower human customer support agents by providing them with real-time contextual data, answers to common questions, and knowledge about their company’s offerings and solutions.
– Ask-AI has raised $11 million in Series A funding, bringing its total funding to over $20 million.
– ASK is a Chrome browser extension that appears as a sidebar and provides relevant apps and information based on the user’s current task.
– ASK offers a 360-degree view of customers, including past interactions and important details like upcoming renewals or churn risks.
– ASK can perform actions using generative AI, such as drafting emails or customer chat responses.
– Ask-AI focuses on high accuracy, high security solutions and differentiates itself by pre-processing and summarizing customer company data.
– Ask-AI’s products can connect to over 50 other popular enterprise applications without requiring users to switch or abandon their existing software.
– Ask-AI’s dashboard, called MosAIc, provides real-time insights and analysis of recurring issues and problems in customer tickets and internal conversations.
– Ask-AI’s solution has shown tangible results, including a 20% reduction in time-to-resolution for support tickets.
– Ask-AI plans to double in size with its new funding and aims to integrate generative AI into enterprise workflows.

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Customer support is one of the more obvious areas for enterprises to deploy AI solutions — but done incorrectly, it can backfire in a big way, as we learned from the various Chevrolet car dealerships that chose to use a version of OpenAI’s GPT only to have customers begin tricking it into giving them discounts on cars down to $1.

But Ask-AI is taking a different approach, launching a new model agnostic enterprise AI assistant as a Chrome extension today called ASK that is designed to empower human customer support agents by presenting them with realtime contextual data about the customer they’re interacting with in the moment, answers to common questions, and knowledge about their company’s offerings and solutions — all right at their fingertips.

Founded to empower human agents and employees with AI

Founded in Tel Aviv, Israel in 2021 by entrepreneur Alon Talmor, and co-located with a major office in Toronto, Canada, the 40-person strong firm is also announcing today it has raised $11 million in Series A funding led by Leaders Fund and backed by seed investors including Vertex Ventures, State of Mind Ventures, GTMFund, and others. In total, counting its earlier seed round, Ask-AI has raised more than $20 million.

Ask-AI team with founder Alon Talmor in front right. Credit: Ask-AI.

“We believe there’s going to be a big market for sidekicks and co-pilots at the intersection of what you [the enterprise user] are doing right now — let’s say a repetitive task such as answering email, answering a customer support ticket, or just doing your day job in your CRM [customer relationship management software] — and with company data and AI,” Talmor told VentureBeat in an exclusive interview in advance of the announcements.

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ASK is AI on the side whenever it’s needed

Talmor described how the new ASK sidekick works: as a Chrome browser extension that appears a sidebar and “opens automatically, depending on what you do,” to provide apps and information relevant to whatever work you’re doing at that moment.

ASK “not only make[s] you do what you do faster — providing answers for emails and tickets — but also doing it better and more effectively.”

As an example, Talmor noted that for customer service and support personnel, ASK provides a “360 view of what we know” about every given customer who has interacted with the business prior and is seeking support from an agent.

The information ASK provides includes “all the relevant past interactions and highlights about what’s interesting about this customer — is their renewal coming up? Are they a churn risk?”

In addition, ASK can perform “actions around generative AI, for instance, answering with the tone of the company,” via email or customer chat drafts, “answering questionnaires, performing a support audit, there’s a wide variety of applications we can really craft very fast and add to this [ASK] sidekick platform to bring value.”

Importantly, the ASK AI sidekick doesn’t act on its own: It’s up to each human customer support agent to accept or use the information and responses it provides, relying on their training and judgement to avoid the kind of errors and lofty promises of fully automated customer support chatbots.

High-security, high-accuracy, low hallucination rate

Talmor also emphasized Ask-AI’s commitment to reducing hallucinations and embodying his company’s values of creating “very high accuracy, high security solutions.”

He said Ask-AI does this, and differentiates itself from other rivals in the customer support chatbot space by performing “real pre-processing and summarizing of the [customer] company data” including understanding unique internal company jargon.

Ask-AI also supports a wide range of leading AI models for powering its offerings, including OpenAI’s GPT-3.5/4, Google Gemini, Meta’s open source Llama and its variants such as Alpaca.

AI products that connect to and digest data from existing apps — no switchover needed

A major advantage of the entire Ask-AI offering — which also includes a glanceable, information-rich realtime dashboard called “MosAIc” — is that it can be connected to more than 50 other popular enterprise applications in common use, including Salesforce, Zendesk, Confluence, and Slack, digesting and analyzing the data from these sources — albeit with the enterprise customer’s permission.

This means Ask-AI’s customers do not need to consider switching or abandoning enterprise software they already rely on, pay for, and that works well for their business needs.

Instead, Ask-AI’s sidekick and dashboard simply extend and enhances the data already being created and stored by these other third-party apps and tools.

Discussing Ask-AI’s MosAIc dashboard, Talmor told VentureBeat that “you can visually see what are the recurring issues and problems not only in your customer tickets, but also in, for example, Slack conversations internally…there’s a lot of chatter in company channels and you want to capture that to raise effectiveness in the company.”

Promotional image of Ask-AI’s MosAIc dashboard. Credit: Ask-AI

Ask-AI believes the result of using both products — its dashboard and ASK sidekick — is a dramatic enhancement in efficiency across various departments, from customer support to sales, by providing key insights and actionable solutions in real-time.

Though initially targeting customer support agents with its ASK sidekick, Ask-AI also seeks to provide value to other enterprise employees, such as analysts and executives, who may find tremendous value from the dashboard.

This end-to-end solution has shown tangible results across Ask-AI’s diverse clientele, which includes names like Monday.com, Callrail, and Yotpo, achieving metrics such as a 20% reduction in time-to-resolution for support tickets.

Prior success with enterprise-grade AI

Talmor’s previous AI venture BlueTail was acquired by Salesforce, Ask-AI has been on a mission to integrate generative AI into the fabric of enterprise operations.

Talmor has a PhD in natural language processing, and his team includes other experiences professionals and academics including Prof. Jonathan Berant, Josh Solomon, Dafna Lavran, and Eyal Medar.

With its new funding, the company plans to double in size over this year.

Ask-AI’s recent funding and its innovative approach to integrating generative AI into enterprise workflows may help it stand out among an increasingly crowded space of new enterprise-grade generative AI offerings.

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AI Eclipse TLDR:

Ask-AI, an Israeli-based firm, has launched a new enterprise AI assistant called ASK. The AI assistant is a Chrome extension that provides real-time contextual data, answers to common questions, and knowledge about a company’s offerings and solutions to customer support agents. The goal is to empower human agents by enhancing their interactions with customers and improving their efficiency. Ask-AI has raised $11 million in Series A funding, bringing its total funding to over $20 million. The company plans to double in size this year and aims to integrate generative AI into various enterprise workflows.