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These 3 Indian startups are making the most of artificial intelligence!

Advanced technologies like AI and machine learning not only reduce the chances of error -- thereby improving efficiency -- but also go beyond human intelligence to offer solutions in areas such as e-commerce, fintech, healthcare, and education.

Manoj Sharma   New Delhi     Last Updated: September 4, 2018  | 16:24 IST
These 3 Indian startups are making the most of artificial intelligence!
Embibe CEO and founder Aditi Avasthi (third from right) along with her teammates. Photo: Lightbox.

Technical hubs like Bengaluru, Delhi-NCR, Mumbai, and Hyderabad are flooded with start-ups working on advanced technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning. These technologies not only reduce the chances of error -- thereby improving efficiency -- but also go beyond human intelligence to offer solutions in areas such as e-commerce, fintech, healthcare, education, etc. Here's a list of three start-ups that are using advanced AI, data mining, and machine learning to disrupt their respective industries.  

Rubique (Fintech)

Manavjeet Singh, MD and CEO, Rubique.

Funding: Total funding of $10 million to date from investors, including Kalaari capital, RSP India Fund, LLC of Japan's Recruit Co Ltd, Emery Capital, YourNest, and Globevestor.

Team Leader: Founded by Manavjeet Singh, who has over two decades of experience in banking, in 2014, Rubique is one of the top emerging fintech companies in India with a customer base of over 200,000 and 'Phygital' operations in 190 cities.

What is Rubique? Imagine yourself applying for a loan, and not being hassled for every single detail. Rubique matches perfect lender with a suitable borrower and simplifies loan process using AI. "Rubique has leveraged machine learning and AI with big data analytics to build a system that matches borrower with the right lender," says Manavjeet Singh, CEO and co-founder, Rubique. All credit policies of banks are linked to the Rubique system, and its self-learning algorithm sends borrowers loan offers automatically. If it suits their requirement, processing happens in real time. Rubique's tech-enabled distribution arm spread across 190+ cities helps users with documents to complete the loan process in minimum time.

How Rubique uses AI? The company uses data and technology to solve the financial access problem. "Our matchmaking engine matches the borrower with the right lender based on his requirements and eligibility. This removes the uncertainty and saves time," says the CEO.

USP: Rubique uses the credit policies of the banks and converts it into a proprietary evaluation matrix to check a customer's eligibility. This leads to fast processing, thus saving time. Its AI-based feedback loop learns from disbursement and monitoring data to improve the accuracy of loan.

Niki.ai (e-commerce)

Niki.Ai co-founders Keshav Prawasi, Sachin Jaiswal, Nitin Babel, and Shishir Modi.

Funding: Niki.ai has raised a total of $2.4 million in funding over five rounds, with the latest being from a Series A round on June 28, 2017.

Team leaders: The start-up was co-founded by Keshav Prawasi, Sachin Jaiswal, Nitin Babel, and Shishir Modi in 2015.  The start-up works on channel partnership model in which it gets a commission for every order it generates for vendors, which are the likes of Redbus, Cleartrip, OYO rooms, Bookmyshow, etc.

What is Niki.ai? Niki is an AI-based chat bot, where you can avail services like mobile recharge, online flight booking, movie ticket, laundry and a host of other online facilities --all through a simple chat. The queries put in by users via chat are answered by the AI-powered chat bot, whose response improves with every conversation.

How Niki uses AI? Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Machine Learning (ML) are the AI-based technologies that help Niki.ai not only understand the user's query, but also retain context in the conversation. "Niki also 'learns' users' preferences over time and comes up with the best-suited recommendations. The algorithms behind the whole 'understanding-and-responding-accordingly' part are pretty complicated and makes use of the most sophisticated of research in AI, NLP and ML," says Nitin Babel, company co-founder.

So is Niki 'WeChat with AI power' for India? After all, both put conversations at the centre of the transactional experience. "While WeChat lets users have one-to-one conversations with each other, Niki is entirely a conversational commerce bot," says Nitin, adding that popularity and penetration (28% of the total population) of WhatsApp in India vs that of Facebook and other social media platforms (11%) proves a conversational platform is the most relevant medium for Indian masses.

The young co-founder believes Niki.ai will be an app for everything in the next five years. "We wish for Niki to be your phone."

USP: The start-up is backed by former Tata Sons Chairman Ratan Tata. "Backing from someone as visionary as Mr Tata definitely adds to the trust factor," says Nitin.

Embibe (Education)

Investment: The company has raised $184 million in funding over two rounds.

Team leader: The start-up was founded by Aditi Avasthi in 2012 to help students develop educational standards through tech-enabled personalised feedback.

What is Embibe? Embibe provides personalised learning outcomes for those using its advanced AI platform, which enables students to maximise learning outcomes. The programme works on student behaviour traits that impact their score like lack of intent, boredom, attention gaps, stamina, carelessness, overconfidence, fear, pressure, time management, etc.

How Embibe uses AI? Embibe works on a method called 'relative quartile jump', in which each student gets a goal to improve his behaviour. The platform uses a smart test generation system, data processing, and intelligent content ingestion to produce test papers that can remarkably improve students' scoring ability. The company has built an in-house machine learning-based stack that generates tests automatically using approaches like genetic algorithm and simulated annealing.

USP: Embibe's idea of 'personalised delivery of education' is backed by India's largest biggest business group, Reliance, and other investors like Lightbox and Kalaari Capital.

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