Alice Labs, a startup by Bangladeshi entrepreneurs, has raised $500,000 as seed fund as it aims to expand its footprint in Southeast Asia, Middle East and North African markets to cater to businesses looking to provide better customer services, said the company yesterday.
Anchorless Bangladesh led the financing round with participation from HOF Capital, said Alice, operator of MyAlice, an artificial intelligence (AI) driven multi-channel customer service platform for e-commerce and online businesses.
This is yet another example of the promises offered by local startups that have been attracting the attention of local and global investors.
Bangladesh currently has more than 1,200 active startups with over 200 new companies being born each year. And prospective startups brought in more than $308 million from international venture capital funds in the last decade, according to a study by business consultancy firm LightCastle Partners.
"With this momentum, we believe we can scale our growth across a few key markets through our highly targeted offerings," said Founder and CEO of Alice Labs Shuvo Rahman.
Incorporated in Singapore in 2018, Alice Labs currently operates in South Asia and Southeast Asia including Bangladesh, Myanmar and Nepal serving over 50 e-commerce stores and enterprises, including major brands and retailers like Unilever, Coca-Cola, Giordano, and Maybelline, among others, said Alice Labs.
In Bangladesh, it also serves four local private banks to help them manage and provide automated customer services.
The company said its MyAlice enables businesses to streamline customer service, making it more efficient and customer-friendly.
Businesses can connect all of their customer-facing channels, such as website chat and social media messaging platforms, to MyAlice to automate conversations for both sales and service through natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning (ML) with the ability to smoothly transition to a live operator when required, said the company.
Clients are able to automate over 70 per cent of conversations, reduce service costs by more than 30 per cent and increase sales significantly -- all the while improving customer satisfaction and retention, it added.
Rahman said human interference is usually not required in addressing customer's problems.
Alice Labs said through machine learning, MyAlice strives to decode the complex behavior of shoppers across different regions and help businesses better communicate with them in their native languages, allowing clients to offer highly targeted localised support and better cater to diverse consumer habits.
Use of MyAlice can enable clients to reduce customer service-related costs by up to 50 per cent, said Rahman.
"Alice Labs has an edge in being able to service markets that are often overlooked by larger global players," said Rahat Ahmed, founding partner and CEO at Anchorless Bangladesh, a venture capital fund.
Tala Al Jabri, partner at technology-focused venture capital firm HOF Capital, said Alice Labs has managed to produce considerable traction with leading enterprises on a global scale already, and this capital infusion will only further augment Alice's reach.