Gokul Rajaram, Mekin Maheshwari invest in Vahan.co, the Siri for businesses in India

Vahan’s virtual assistant uses AI techniques to automate tasks such as acquisition/on-boarding, training and support

Bangalore- and Singapore-based startup Vahan Inc., which has developed a virtual assistant for businesses in India and Southeast Asia, has secured an undisclosed sum in seed funding from a slew of investors, including Indonesia’s RMKB Ventures and Silicon Valley-based Spike Ventures.

Gokul Rajaram (Product Lead at Square and formerly with Google), Sanjeev Agarwal (former Head of Marketing at Google), Mekin Maheshwari (former CPO of Flipkart, and Vir Kashyap (Co-founder at Babajob) and several other Googlers from Silicon Valley also co-invested in this round.

Vahan will use the money to scale its total user base to a million users, mature its Artificial Intelligence and Natural Language technology. It also plans to expand its sales and engineering teams, particularly in Machine Learning.

The fundraise was first reported by e27.

Vahan was co-founded in 2016 by Mohammed Abdoolcarim, a former employee of Google and Siri, and Madhav Krishna, a Machine Learning and AI expert. It has developed a virtual assistant on WhatsApp for blue-collar workers (drivers, delivery boys, bank tellers and baristas). They can chat with the assistant without having to download a separate app. The virtual assistant is customisable to align to employers’ support, training, communication and reporting needs.

“Businesses globally are already using messaging apps to engage their workers, but find it difficult to scale and save costs. Our assistant uses Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning techniques to automate tasks such as acquisition/on-boarding, training and support, and helps companies engage their workers at scale,” Abdoolcarim said.

Currently, Vahan supports English, Hinglish (Hindi written in English), and plans to add more languages including Bahasa.

Vahan is catering mainly to large enterprises in India, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Middle East. It is currently working with Uber, Careem, Grab, Dunzo, Unnati, Amazon, YES Bank, and Flipkart.


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