Recruit buys stake in Indian AI-assisted chat platform operator

09, May. 2019

NEW DELHI, NNA - Recruit Co. says it acquired a stake in an Indian artificial intelligence-assisted chat platform operator as part of its strategy to tap new technology fields through investment in startups.

The core unit of Recruit Holdings Co., which operates a wide range of services, including recruitment, advertising and housing, said Tuesday it provided a capital injection of an undisclosed amount to Techbins Solutions Pvt. Ltd. via RSP India Fund, an investment arm of the Japanese company.

Techbins, established in Bangalore in 2015, runs niki.ai, a one-stop app making various online services available in a user's preferred language, with the help of AI-based linguistic analysis and processing, Recruit said in a statement.

Via the chat app, users can book taxis, make hotel and restaurant reservations, recharge prepaid mobile phones, and make bill payments among other transactions, the Japanese firm said.

It currently offers services in Hindi and will add Tamil and Kannada, major southern local tongues, a Recruit spokesman told NNA.

In India, thousands of languages and dialects are spoken, but English dominates in online services. As a result, only 20 percent of smartphone users make use of such services due to the language barrier, according to Recruit. The company expects demand for the app will be high, particularly in rural areas. (NNA/Kyodo)