South Africa’s Atura, an automated chatbot for asset management companies, has secured an undisclosed Series-A investment led by Blue Garnet Investments, an investment company that counts Investec and local investment fund Crossfin amongst other investors.
Atura is a separate company owned by Cape Town software firm New Media Labs (NML), which was founded in 2007.
The CEO; Paul Cartmel confirmed this to Ventureburn that the deal was signed on September 7.
However, he declined to disclose the amount invested, but said Blue Garnet Investments will take a 10% stake in Atura during the Series-A round.
“I would prefer not to mention the value of the investment as it will create some confusion with other potential investors who offered better terms, (which) we didn’t think was as good a fit as Crossfin,” he added.
Atura’s current clients are Nedgroup Investments, Nedbank Insurance, Direct Axis and 10X, he said. Investec’s investment is to fund a chatbot designed by Atura and was built to handle frequent call centre queries and to facilitate investment instructions for both direct clients and financial planners.
Cartmel said the chatbot can save the client 90% of their call centre cost.
“ another way we charge per conversational session and these sessions cost one tenth of what a call centre conversational session is,” he was quoted to have said.
He further added that other benefits include increased lead generation and a higher percentage of completed applications in quoting (in regards to insurance) or for robotic advice (for investments and personal loan applications).
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