Reliance Jio Digital has bought a majority stake in Mumbai based AI platform, Haptik for INR 700 crore. While Reliance Industries Limited, Reliance Jio’s parent firm shelled out INR 230 crore, the remaining INR 470 crore will be invested in Haptik in the coming five years.
Post this deal, Reliance will own 87 per cent of Haptik while the company’s founders and employees will be the owner of the rest of the shares via stock option grants.
The entire business and holdings of Haptik will be transferred to Reliance Jio Digital Services, said an issued statement.
The investment move synchronises with Jio’s plans to develop its own voice-based and AI enabled telecom products and comes weeks after the acquisition of Reverie, a local language technology service provider for INR 190 crore.
“This strategic investment underlines our commitment to further boost the digital ecosystem and provide Indian users conversational AI-enabled devices with multilingual capabilities. We believe voice interactivity will be the primary mode of interaction for Digital India,’’ said Akash Ambani, Director, Reliance Jio.
Tech giants including Amazon, Apple and Google already boast of AI enabled voice products like Amazon Alexa, Apple’s Siri and Google Assistant. Haptik, on the other hand, will focus on Indian languages.
“Just like the last 250 million Indians who came online skipped the desktop revolution and went straight to mobile, we believe the next 500 million may skip the screen revolution and go straight to voice interactivity. The creation of voice-enabled Natural Language Understanding in major Indian languages shall be a key focus,” said Aakrit Vaish, CEO, Haptik.