Leena AI Secures $2 Million Seed Funding From Snapdeal Co-Founders, Elad Gil
The automated intelligence wave is here, and is here to say. While the technology is making its way to every single thing possible—from process automation to user interfaces—its implementation is becoming rather repetitive.
However, Leena AI, a company that focuses on developing HR chatbots to help employees answer questions like how many paid leaves they have left, is trying to change that. Launched in 2017, the startup is a recent graduate of Y Combinator, an American seed accelerator, and announced a $2 million seed round from a variety of investors including Snapdeal co-founders Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal and Elad Gil. The company has 16 paying customers already and hopes to have 50 enterprise customers by the next year.
The co-founder of the company, Adit Jain, says the company started off as another startup called Chatteron. The company was formed as the founders got out of college in 2015 and it helped people build their own chatbots. Along the way, the founders discovered that there was a particularly strong need of chatbots in HR. Jain says it was because of this that they Leena AI last year.
The HR problem is full of deliberations—finding out answers to basic questions like how to a get a new baby on their health insurance requires a call to a help desk or a series of mails, even though the information is out there in the HR policy.
Jain feels that a chatbot is a good way to solve this problem and can save a lot of time searching or calling for answers that can be easily found. Moreover, they learnt that most of the questions are fairly easy and require a simple index for a system to learn.
And the best part—employees can access the Leena chatbot in instant messaging platforms like Workplace by Facebook, Slack, Outlook, Microsoft Teams, Skype for Business, and Cisco Spark. They also offer Web and mobile access to their service independent of these other tools.
Jain says the customer has to simply provide Leena with a set of policy documents and the machine learning takes care of everything else, arming the bot with information that can be converted into a structured set of questions and answers.
This model can be moved beyond HR and expand into departments like IT, finance and vendor procurement.
For now, with the initial funding, the startup is focusing on improving the HR bot.