Directly Announces Acquisition of AI Start-Up Kylie.ai
Acquisition of Kylie.ai expands Directly’s technical capabilities to include transactional use cases for customer support
Directly, a leader in intelligent automation for customer support, announced the acquisition of AI start-up Kylie.ai. As part of the acquisition, both the Kylie.ai team and their proprietary technology will be brought under the Directly name, representing a tremendous expansion of conversational AI capabilities and use cases available to the market, such as processing refunds, returns, cancellations, and order tracking.
Founded in 2014 by Jamasen Rodriguez and Sinan Ozdemir, Kylie.ai offers enterprise-grade AI that gives businesses the ability to automate customer conversations while simultaneously ensuring that all back-end processes are executed seamlessly and completely. The company has developed a proprietary approach to dialogue systems that allows its AI to tackle remarkably complex, transactional conversations with limited integration requirements. This, in turn, has enabled Kylie.ai clients to reduce digital support volume by as much as 50 percent, and phone volume by as much as 70 percent.
“When Sinan and I founded Kylie.ai, our goal was to facilitate personalized connections between brands and consumers,” CEO and co-founder Jamasen Rodriguez said. “AI has the power not only to increase retention and loyalty, but to build deeper and more meaningful relationships between people and brands. We couldn’t have found a better partner than Directly. They are committed to building a better, more human AI experience for businesses and their customer support operations.”
As part of the acquisition, Kylie.ai’s employees and proprietary technology will be brought in-house under the Directly name, with co-founders Rodriguez and Ozdemir taking on key roles in business development and data science, respectively. Moving forward, Directly’s intelligent automation solutions will have the ability to perform a broader set of tasks, offering customers the ability to intelligently trigger an action from an internal system, providing an automatic answer for an interaction that would typically require agent intervention.
“With the technical enhancements to our platform delivered by the brilliant Kylie.ai team, I believe Directly is poised to play an even bigger role in delivering a modern customer experience,” said Directly CEO Antony Brydon. “This technology is the future of customer engagement, and we’re proud to bring it to our customers.”
“The strategic acquisition of Kylie.ai will help propel Directly to the forefront of improving customer support,” said investor Adam Coccari, Senior Portfolio Manager at M12, Microsoft’s venture fund. “The combination of Directly’s expert-driven intelligence and Kylie.ai’s technical capabilities to make conversations actionable will help expand Directly’s market and make it easier to address customer issues.”
“Directly’s acquisition of Kylie.ai signals a shift from one-dimensional chatbots to conversationally intelligent solutions that connect front office to back office and all customer transactions in between. Conversational AI is being widely adopted by global enterprises across industries to drive customer service, productivity and employee engagement,” said Mila D’Antonio, principal analyst at Ovum. “Enterprises understand the need for a comprehensive solution that integrates into internal enterprise systems, as well as third-party databases, to automate intelligent dialog along the customer journey. Consequently, transformative customer experiences, enabled through intelligent automation, will become paramount as connected customer experience continues to emerge as the next competitive battleground.”
Kylie.ai’s one-of-a-kind solution will be fully-integrated into the Directly expert intelligence platform and available to all customers by Spring 2020.