Berlin-born conversational AI startup Rasa has secured $26 million in Series B funding. The round was led by Andreessen Horowitz and joined by existing investors Accel, 468 Capital, Basis Set Ventures and Mango Capital. The company will also launch a new technology hub in Edinburgh, Scotland.
Since 2016 Rasa has built an open-source infrastructure for implementing a chatbot, distinguishing itself from other companies that provide so-called ‘black box technology’. “A simplistic chatbot might be easy, but a resilient, fully contextual assistant that works is not,” says Alex Weidauer, the startup’s CEO and co-founder. The company aims to serve the developer community “through better research, investment in open source software, superior developer tools and education, and flexible on-prem or cloud deployment.”
Now headquartered in San Francisco, Rasa serves organizations of every size, “including six of the top ten banks in the world, five of the ten largest global telecommunications firms, and five of the ten largest insurance companies.” Clients include Deutsche Telekom, Adobe, BMW, Airbus, ENGIE, HCA Healthcare and Orange.
The latest investment brings Rasa’s total funding to $40 million, including a Series A completed in early 2019. Since that round the company reports it has tripled its ARR. “Rasa's approach using conversational AI while offering a developer-friendly toolset, all while maintaining a high bar for data privacy, makes them the best alternative to big cloud providers,” comments Martin Casado, a general partner at Andreessen Horowitz who will join the startup’s board.
The company also announced the hiring of Adam Lopez, a Natural Language Processing researcher from the University of Edinburgh. From July 1, Lopez will join Rasa’s research efforts and lead a new R&D hub in Edinburgh.
Photo: co-founders Alex Weidauer and Alan Nichol