Chatbot in FB draws strategic investors

Wednesday, Mar 27, 2019 18:36

A signing ceremony of investment in the first Chatbot in F&B is held between Vietnamese EM and AI with Spanish partners. The value of the chatbot, GoJOY, was evaluated at US$6.7 million after one year. — Photo courtesy AM and AI

The first strategic start-up investment deal in promoting a chatbot application in food & beverage (F&B), GonJOY, was signed on Tuesday between EM AND AI joint-stock company and an investor from Spain worth US$500,000.

CEO of EM AND AI joint-stock company, Le Ngoc Tri, who developed the first chatbot application in F&B, and Jaime Carrera Poblet, an investor from Spain, agreed to buy 7.5 per cent share of the company and become a strategic investor.

Tri said the chatbot, a Vietnamese ‘google assistant’ version in Viet Nam, was valued at $6.7 million after debuting in 2018.

Tri said the GonJOY chatbot, which has been used by 30,000 users in Da Nang alone, had helped earn profit of VND200 million ($8,850) for 14 restaurants and shops in the central city.

Last year, the company also inked a strategic partner contract with Sevenseas International company from Switzerland to promote AI in Viet Nam and worldwide.

Last year, Sevenseas International company agreed to buy a 25 per cent stake worth $125,000 to be a strategic investor and partner of EM AND AI company.

Jaime Carrera Poblet, an investor from Spain, said the chatbot was useful for both Vietnamese and international users.

The chatbot, which registered its brand at the US Patent and Trademark Office and China market, has plans to expand in European and Asian markets with English, Korean and Thai versions.

GonJOY, which uses natural language processing and personalised recommendations of delicious and convenient locations and food, has been used by 1,000 shops and restaurants in Da Nang, and the figure would double next year in Hoi An, Thua Thien-Hue and Da Nang with 500,000 users.

Last year, the city also launched two chatbots – the Danang FantastiCity chatbot to promote easy access to information on tourism and events, and a public procedure and information service.

According to a survey on 500 Vietnamese firms conducted in 2018 by Viet Nam Report, only 13.6 per cent have invested in AI in production and business; 18.2 per cent are studying the model and 18.2 per cent have plans for investment in the coming two to three years. Almost 50 per cent of the surveyed companies do not have plans for AI investment yet. — VNS

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