Exotel acquires Cogno AI to build a full-stack customer engagement platform

Bengaluru: Exotel, a cloud telephony firm, has acquired chatbot developer Cogno AI in a cash-and-stock deal, as part of its plans to build a full-stack customer engagement platform.

The financial terms of the deal weren’t disclosed. Cogno AI is Exotel’s second M&A deal
since absorbing Ameyo in June this year. The company
had raised $35 million in a Series C funding round in September.

Cogno AI works with around 60 customers in the banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI) sector, including State Bank of India, HDFC Bank and the ICICI Group. It will help Exotel add conversational AI and co-browsing capabilities to its full-stack suite.

“With the acquisition of Cogno AI, we’ve brought conversational AI into the mix. Now customers will have access to about 60% of all customer-engagement channels through us,” Exotel’s cofounder and chief executive Shivakumar Ganesan said. “This takes us one step towards becoming a full-stack customer engagement platform.” The 100-member team at Cogno AI will join Exotel, he said, and continue to focus on building the chat product as the company is growing at nearly 200% year-on-year by itself. Apart from BFSI, Cogno is now expanding into ecommerce, retail and education.

The companies now within Exotel’s fold will leverage each other’s customers to cross-sell solutions, integrating their customer engagement channels, and thereby pushing them towards using a unified solution.

“We started four years ago with chatbots as our primary offering, and then went on to add more customer engagement-related offerings in our suite,” Cogno AI cofounder Aman Goel said. “We see tremendous synergies with Exotel and Ameyo, and through the combination, we can bring a lot of added value to our customers.”

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Exotel, Ameyo and Cogno now have a combined annual revenue run rate of around $50 million, growing at around 70% year-on-year. The company said it plans to grow to around $200 million in ARR over the next three years, driven by expansion into markets such as the Middle East and Southeast Asia.

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