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Startup “a heaven and a field” compared to Google, calling for capital of 1 million USD-Information Technology

Shark Binh evaluates the product of this startup as “a heaven and a domain” compared to Google.

Recently, the billion-dollar deal (Shark Tank) season 5 has returned. Like previous seasons, season 5 recorded many technology startups coming to raise capital. In the first episode, EM & AI with Voicebot AI is an outstanding startup. They asked shark Lien to deposit 100,000 USD to verify the commitment to achieve the KPI in 2 months, if not, the money will be refunded.

Two representatives of EM & AI, Le Ngoc Tri – co-founder and CEO of EM & AI startup, and Vo Huu Truong An – in charge of product and customer experience, came to Shark Tank to call 1 million USD for 5 % share to provide global voicebot AI solution that automatically calls customer care with artificial intelligence voice.

Shark Tank: Startup "a heaven and a field"  compared to Google calling for capital 1 million USD - 1

EM & AI startup representative calls for capital at Shark Tank season 5.

According to a survey by EM & AI, the Vietnamese market size with Voice AI solution is more than 240 million USD. Currently, this startup is accelerating the R&D process and deploying the English version to provide services to the world with an estimated market size of more than 23.5 billion USD, Ngoc Tri said.

Newly launched by this startup in March 2022, this solution now has more than 30 customers with 10,000 conversations taking place every day by AI. According to Truong An’s introduction, a real estate customer of EM & AI, when applying this solution, solved the workload of 1 month in just 2 days, from 7 employees down to 1 operator. , the cost is only 20% compared to before.

EM & AI has successfully packaged in the form of AI as-a-service (available service). Currently, this startup is applying two forms of fee collection: Regular fee collection for 6 or 12 months and fee collection as committed. In addition to Voicebot AI, this startup also provides other solutions such as AI chatbot; Virtual QC evaluates agents through the telephone environment; monitor and support employees in real time; Label and train the AI.

Through experience, shark Binh assessed the bot (robot) to speak unnaturally. He suspects that if users discover this is a bot, they will immediately hang up, increase the churn rate, and adversely affect the brand. He said that the startup’s product is like “a heaven and one” compared to Google.

Shark Tank: Startup "a heaven and a domain"  compared to Google calling for capital 1 million USD - 3

The “sharks” in episode 1 of Shark Tank season 5.

Debating with shark Binh from a technical perspective, Ngoc Tri said that when the shark listens to broadband like using an application, the audio frequency is about 48kHz, which is very clear. Meanwhile, Voicebot AI deployed by EM & AI is an application through the telecommunications environment, belonging to a narrow bandwidth, so the audio is compressed down to a frequency of only 8kHz. If you choose a Google API attached to the solution and directly compare the 2 voices, EM & AI confidently outperforms a bit.

To enhance the user experience when receiving calls from Voicebot, EM & AI has given customers full control to record their real voice based on each text response to end customers. Even when the customer wants a more in-depth consultation, the recording bot voice is immediately transferred to the receiver to create two voices seamlessly together.

Ngoc Tri added, 4 existing technologies of EM & AI are developed based on open source (open source code) and now the startup has completely mastered the technology.

Encourage Vietnamese people to master AI technology themselves. However, NextTech’s Chairman of the Board of Directors is still concerned that this AI game is not easy for startups. “You can grow to 98%, but from 98 to 99%, you may have to invest 100 million USD,” shark Binh said.

Shark Tank: Startup "a heaven and a domain"  compared to Google calling for capital 1 million USD - 4

Shark Nguyen Hoa Binh.

Shark Lien said that she wants her private insurance company with more than 30 million customers to be fully applied by technology. So she wants to know how this AI bot helps customers to have a better experience.

Truong An said, the startup’s system will send notifications to superiors when guests show signs of dissatisfaction in a conversation with Voicebot AI. At that time, the superior can directly listen to the phone call and direct the employee to solve it. Only after 1-2 seconds, staff will receive instructions and solve for customers.

Sharing about the startup process, Ngoc Tri said, EM & AI started in 2017 and this is his 7th startup. After 5 years, this business has “burned” $ 1.8 million in cash, of which 40% is money from the founding team, 60% comes from angel investors. In addition, more than 8 billion from more than 15 domestic and foreign awards, also invested by startups for businesses. The founder team has worked without pay for 5 years, equivalent to an amount of about 700,000 USD.

Ngoc Tri also revealed that the time and cost of building a business-specific solution will depend on the structure, complexity, number of scenarios and situations. If the business is simple, about 100 intents (states) will take about 1 month at a cost of about 200 million VND.

Sharing about revenue, the founder said that in 2021 EM & AI will collect $ 500,000 from a contract with an enterprise customer. Currently, the startup’s main source of revenue comes from vouchers (vouchers) of the AI ​​Self-Service solution. Up to the time of joining Shark Tank, EM & AI revenue has reached VND 330 million. It is expected that by the end of 2022, the startup’s revenue will reach $500,000 with a target of 1,000 customers. The current operating capital is 4 USD/minute, the monthly cost is about 45,000 USD.

Talking about the investment recovery time, Ngoc Tri said, the sharks have 2 forms of capital recovery. The first is to wait for the startup to raise capital for the next round, then the shark will sell shares. The second is that the startup will IPO at the end of 2024. In order to IPO, the business must be profitable. It is expected that by March 2023, EM & AI will break even.

As for shark Hung Anh, he assessed that the financial picture of the startup was almost at a loss. If you continue to invest another 1 million USD, you will continue to lose, the startup “burns” in 2 years and it will run out. “The important thing about a startup is not figuring out when we will be profitable, how we will manage costs, not technology. If you can’t do this technology, others can do it,” shark Hung Anh stated.

Arguing with the shark, Ngoc Tri said, all companies are pumping money to have users pay. His own startup has built 4 core values, extremely low operating costs, and a profit margin of about 70%. In addition, the solution of EM & AI runs on all domestic and foreign clouds such as Amazon Web Services, Google, etc.

Shark Phu said that he had heard the startup talk a lot about the product, but the financial picture was not bright enough to recover capital. Therefore, he decided not to invest.

Agreeing with Shark Phu, Shark Hung Anh said that this project has potential, but because he does not trust the financial management of the startup, he decided not to invest.

Shark Binh shared that he has no doubt that the startup will reach break-even point and be profitable within the next 1-2 years. However, he said, the most important thing in building intelligent artificial intelligence software is not in the technique but in the data.

Shark Binh further added that the businesses that currently capture the most data about the sound and voice of Vietnamese people are Facebook, Google, Microsoft, etc., when every day there are billions of minutes of Vietnamese calls through their applications every day. these businesses. With such a large data source, businesses can develop bots that are completely natural like humans and they are closest to the finish line.

Therefore, he is concerned that startups will find it difficult to compete in terms of products. Assessing the startup’s high valuation compared to the future risks that Vietnamese people may face in the data field, shark Binh decided not to invest.

Persuading shark Hung and shark Lien to close the deal, Ngoc Tri still kept the proposed level of 1 million USD for 5% of the shares. However, he pledged that if by the end of March 2023, the startup did not reach the breakeven point as mentioned, he would return to shark 2% of his own shares.

Ngoc Tri further revealed that it is expected that at the end of the month, EM & AI will close a deal of about 5 million USD for a 25% stake from a technology company that has used the company’s solution. He said that when the sharks investing in startups are most afraid of losing capital, secondly, because the product is easy to copy, his business has overcome these two points. Ngoc Tri also said that currently Cen Land is also his partner.

Shark Hung believes that startups should maintain the partnership between the two sides. And shark will check the effectiveness of deployment in the business, research to help startups have more new markets and new customers. In the framework of Shark Tank Vietnam, he does not invest in startups.

Shark Lien shared, she really needs a technology team to stand by her side. Wanting to go the long way with the startup, she offered to invest $1 million in exchange for a 35% stake in the startup. When the customer is renewed, deduct all costs, the remaining will continue to be jointly owned.

Ngoc Tri still holds the offer of 1 million USD for 5% of the shares. However, he suggested shark deposit $100,000 in advance. After 2 months of KPI appraisal, if not, he will refund all the money to the shark. In the end, shark Lien agreed to this proposal of the startup EM & AI.

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