London-based OpenDialog raises over €7 million to make conversational AI safe for regulated industries – EU-Startups

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OpenDialog, an award-winning, conversational AI platform used by regulated industries, has raised €7.3 million in a Series A round led by AlbionVC to continue its mission of making Generative AI safe to use in regulated industries, while also bringing unparalleled operational efficiency and customer experience.

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Demand for conversational AI is rapidly rising and the market is on course to be worth an estimated $38 billion globally by 2029, up from $8.4 billion last year. However, its adoption by companies operating in regulated sectors is constrained by the difficulties in using Natural Language Understanding (NLU) technologies and Large Language Models (LLMs), such as GPT4, to create effective conversational experiences that can automate business processes, whilst remaining compliant, safe and explainable.

Terry Walby, co-founder and CEO of OpenDialog, said: “We’re building a category-defining business that redefines the way humans interact with technology and that makes advanced and Generative AI realizable for enterprises. Businesses are keen to take advantage of the technology they see manifested in applications like ChatGPT, but they’re struggling to figure out how to make that a reality in a business context without exposing themselves to risks. We can offer them the security, granular control, explainability and safety which is essential for all businesses, but particularly those operating in regulated sectors like insurance, healthcare, financial services and utilities.”

With an initial focus on the healthcare and insurance sectors, OpenDialog has a unique way of managing conversations while leveraging LLMs to make them safe and compliant from beginning to end. In this way, OpenDialog is unlocking the full power of conversational AI for the most complex and highly regulated industries and simultaneously de-risking the process. Its no-code platform allows enterprises, from insurance giant Davies Group to NHS trusts and beyond, to combine the market’s most powerful LLMs and NLU technologies into a single automation platform.

These enterprises use OpenDialog to build AI-powered chatbots and sophisticated digital assistants that are uniquely tailored to their specific business and regulatory needs, with fine-grained control over how the AI is used to provide the highest levels of automation, whilst ensuring compliance. By automating complex business processes in this way, the AI-powered chatbots and digital assistants built with OpenDialog create deep insights by collecting millions of data points every day that underpin a system of continuous improvement and enhancement.

Founded in 2017, OpenDialog’s unique context-first, multi-agent based, methodology is a radically different approach to developing conversational AI applications because it means OpenDialog can automate multi-step complex business processes through natural conversation – something even the most advanced LLMs are unable to complete. What’s more, with OpenDialog, building the very best and personalized automated customer experiences can take just a few weeks and be achieved without the need for specialist teams.

Recent use cases include several insurance challengers deploying the platform across customer-facing channels to deliver increased efficiency, a legal firm using the platform to triage the eligibility of applicants for a class-action lawsuit and a pharmaceutical company interacting with people reporting adverse effects from the use of their medicines. For one client in the insurance sector, 9 out of 10 tasks are now completely automated, including selling a personalised policy, adding partners, changing addresses, or making claims.

OpenDialog’s latest funding, which included participation by Dowgate Capital and several notable angel investors, directors and staff, takes the total raised by the British company to $13 million. The new round will be used to further the research and development behind OpenDialog’s innovative technology; to accelerate expansion into the US market and to carry on developing the company’s industry-focused solutions. Since raising its seed round in spring 2022, OpenDialog has quadrupled its headcount with staff numbers increasing to over 40. 

Ed Lascelles, Partner at AlbionVC, added: “Conversational AI has evolved massively since early chatbots. In OpenDialog, we have a team of proven entrepreneurs and technologists who have successfully built and scaled enterprise businesses before and we’re convinced that they have the potential to be one of a handful of global leaders in this once-in-a-generation transformation.”

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