Silicon Valley-based Inbenta raises $6.5 million to accelerate the growth of its business, entering new international markets, mainly in Europe, the US and Japan, and to boost its R&D for a better AI-powered customer service product.
Novobrief, which covers the Spanish tech and startup ecosystem, reported today that the Barcelona-born AI company, Inbenta, received funding from NTT DOCOMO Ventures, Scale Capital, LevelEquity and Amasia as part of a Series B extension signed two years ago.
On May 31, 2018, it was announced that NTT DOCOMO Ventures, the venture capital arm of NTT DOCOMO, had made a strategic investment in Inbenta Technologies, but the amount was not disclosed in the press release.
However, Spanish news publication EFE Emprende reported on Wednesday that the amount is $6.5 million (€5.6 million).
In a statement last May, Inbenta Founder and CEO Jordi Torras remarked, “We’re excited to have NTT DOCOMO Ventures as a new strategic investor,” adding, “our newest partner brings not only capital, but valuable experience in Inbenta’s key markets including Japan.”
The company has six enterprise-grade AI and NLP-driven products:
- The Inbenta Chatbot
- Semantic Search
- E-Commerce Search
- Knowledge Management
- Case Management
- Live Chat
Its platform automates over 300 million real-time customer interactions per year across the web, mobile, social, and SMS channels, and natively supports 30 languages servicing a number of multinationals and diverse support organizations.
Inbenta closed its first round in 2014, once its internationalization process was consolidated, which began four years earlier. The company won the support of InverSur, a Chilean venture capital fund that contributed €1.7 million. This firm subsequently changed the name to Scale Capital and remains one of the reference shareholders of the Catalan company.
According to Expansion, the relationship between Inbenta and NTT DOCOMO began in 2017, when the company led by Torras opened a delegation in Tokyo (Japan) and signed an exclusive distribution agreement with the mobile telephony corporation. NTT DOCOMO is a subsidiary of Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation, Japan’s former public telecommunications company privatized in 1985.
Founded in Barcelona and with fiscal headquarters in Silicon Valley, Inbenta has doubled in size in the last two years, according to Empresa Exterior. The patented software of the technology based on the “Meaning-Text Theory” is deployed in more than 250 large companies, with a presence on six continents, and belongs to a great diversity of sectors such as banking, insurance, telecommunications, retail, travel, technology and transportation.
The Meaning-Text Theory is a theoretical linguistic framework created by Aleksandr Žolkovskij and Igor Mel’čuk, for the construction of natural language models. The theory provides an extensive and elaborate basis for linguistic description and, because of its formal nature, it is perfectly adapted to computer applications.
The team at Ibenta has implemented software based on the way the Meaning-Text Theory conceives natural language from lexicon to semantics, which has led its linguistic team to create detailed and specific descriptions of the lexical units in a number of different languages.