I-Dispo raises more than 1 million $ for personal assistant app ‘Sara’
I-Dispo, a startup founded by Ismaël Nzouetom wants to enter the US market with its personal assistent app ‘Sara’, and just raised more than 1 million $ to do so, the Journal du Net learned. The ‘Sara’ app was originally meant to manage meetings, but I-Dispo now wants to evolve it into a real personal assistant using on artificial intelligence.
I-Dispo investors: Kima Ventures, Annie Eyt (Oracle)
Investors in the new round are early investors in I-Dispo like Kima Ventures and French angels like Jacques-Antoine Granjon, Jean-David Blanc and Fabrice Grinda. Among the new investors is Annie Eyt, directeur général of Oracle France.
I-Dispo says it is strong in recognising natural language. But the app wants to be more than a search engine, and therefore it added a backoffice with “I-Dispo experts” (agents) in the back office to actually perform tasks that users demand, or make sure that the answers users receive are relevant to them.
The ‘Sara’ service is accessible through Twitter, Facebook, e-mail and also through an iPhone app. In the future, it should become possible to book appointments with medical specialists through the service, but for now the company concentrates on more mature search markets like travel (hotels and flights), meals and restaurants. ‘Sara’ has partnerships with e-tailers like LaFourchette and Amazon.
I-Dispo model: freemium and commission on partner transactions
‘Sara’ is monetised with a freemium model (it offers a 10 € per month premium subscription formula which unlocks certain services), and also by taking a commission of 5 to 7 % on transactions between Sara-users and partners.
The money of the financing round will be used to develop the AI behind Sara, and to hire a sales team. The Sara app will be incorporated into the new on board tablet (the ‘R-Link’) that comes with Renault cars.
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