UPDATED 11:56 EDT / MARCH 07 2018

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Tech giants back $20M investment into meeting bot startup Voicera

Voicera (Rizio Inc.), a Menlo Park, California-based startup using artificial intelligence to make business meetings more productive, today announced that it has raised $20 million in funding from a who’s who of technology companies.

The investment saw the participation of Alphabet Inc., Microsoft Corp., Salesforce.com Inc., Cisco Systems Inc. and Workday Inc. along with several venture capital firms. Voicera will use the new funds to enhance the features of its flagship product, a virtual assistant called Eva.

The AI can dial into a conference call and create a transcript of the discussion that is automatically organized based on the importance of the contents. Specifically, Eva’s natural-language processing algorithms flag the important items that a user will be expected to act upon once the discussion is over. In a meeting about a new marketing project, for example, that might include the tasks handed out by the team leader.

Voicera said Eva thus removes the need for users to manually write down important details during conference calls. Besides making the meeting go more smoothly, automating this chore can also avoid situations where a worker neglects to make a note of an important task and it ends up not getting done in time.

Just in case, however, Voicera does give users the ability to highlight action items in the transcript manually. It also offers integrations with several outside platforms. Among other things, users can have Eva automatically turn information from a call log into a customer record on Salesforce.

Voicera’s feature set seems to have struck a chord, with the startup claiming that adoption of Eva is doubling quarter-over-quarter. Chief Executive Officer Omar Tawakol told TechCrunch that the platform is currently free but will be moved to a subscription model in the “foreseeable future.”

Voicera is one of several venture-backed startups applying AI to meetings. Another is Gong.io Ltd., which uses machine learning to find patterns in customer calls that can help companies enhance the performance of their sales teams.

Image: Unsplash

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