November 2, 2016
Chatbots have been around for years. Granted, their first iteration wasn’t very advanced and their primary purpose was entertaining middle school kids on AOL instant messenger. But in recent years, the technology behind these convenient tools has improved, allowing businesses to provide fast customer service without wasting precious resources.
Unfortunately, chatbot technology has gotten so advanced that a simple download will no longer provide the in-depth, high quality responses that consumers require today. Building a chatbot from the ground up takes employees, training, and most importantly time. Fortunately, someone has decided to do all the leg work for you. And their beta launches today.
Octane AI is a platform that enables businesses to set up powerful chatbots on Facebook Messenger in just a few minutes. Rather than having these businesses build one from scratch, Octane AI provides them with customizable plugins that let them do what they want, when they want, as many times as they want.
“99 percent of businesses don’t want to spend months, weeks or even hours setting up a chatbot,”said Matt Schlicht, cofounder and CEO of Octane AI in a press release. “That’s why Octane AI enables you to build a powerful chatbot in minutes without the need to code anything. We provide the technology so that you can focus on the content, experience and personality.”
In addition to launching their private beta, Octane AI is announcing $1.5 million in funding led by General Catalyst Partners, including investments from notable institutional and angel investors like Boost VC, Dimension 6, Ustream founder Brad Hunstable, Hired and Talkable founder Allan Grant, and angel Lawrence Braitman.
Despite being a private beta launch, Octane AI has done some serious leg work in terms of attracting customers. With celebrities like 50 Cent, Aerosmith, KISS, and many more already signed on to give these chatbots a try, the company is set up for success. And in the future, they believe they could make more of an impact than anyone could’ve imagined.
“Our thought is that eventually, in the long term, chatbots could become more popular than websites and mobile apps,” said Schlicht in an interview with Tech.Co. “Imagine a world where the technology behind chatbots, the AI, is so advanced that people want to interact with the chatbot instead of with a website or mobile app.”
I had the privilege of talking with Schlicht and Ben Parr, the cofounder and CMO of Octane AI. They gave me a first glance at the technology, and the ease of use is mind-boggling. In just a few clicks of the mouse, you can have a smart, responsive chatbot handling everything from merchandise purchases and subscription requests to forms and customer service. If your company receives more Facebook messages than you can handle, this platform will be a must-have.
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