German Startup Rasa Raises $13M for Open Source Conversational AI Tools

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The company is building a standard infrastructure layer for conversational AI that will enable developers to create text and voice-based AI assistants

 Rasa, a Germany-based startup that provides open source tools to help developers build and improve text-and voice-based chatbots and assistants, has raised $13 million in series A funding led by Accel.

The funding round also saw participation from Basis Set Ventures, OpenAI cofounder and chairman Greg Brockman, UiPath CEO Daniel Dines and Hashicorp founder Mitchell Hashimoto.

With this, Rasa has so far received approximately $14 million investment, including a $1.1 million seed funding raised last summer.

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The company, which was founded in 2016 in Berlin, is planning to use the money to move its headquarters to San Francisco, expand the team, and fuel further growth and development.

The company is building a standard infrastructure layer for conversational AI that will enable developers to create the best text and voice-based AI assistants, the company’s CEO Alex Weidauer said.

“Our tremendous growth in our open source community shows the appetite of developers for our tools across industries and use cases,” he added.

Rasa’s growing open source community

Rasa has built a stack of tools that it has open-sourced. Its eponymous Rasa Stack framework automates conversations in custom AI environments on-premesis or in the cloud while allowing companies to retain ownership over their data, while Rasa Platform — its other core product — simplifies the deployment and scaling of solutions built with Rasa Stack.

Adobe recently used Rasa’s tools to build an AI assistant that enables users to search through Adobe Stock, using natural language commands.

Rasa’s other customers include Parallon, TalkSpace, Zurich, Allianz, Telekom, UBS, Circle Medical, T-Mobile, MoneyLion, BMW, Swiss insurance company Helvetia, Airbus, Toyota, etc.

“Automation is the next battleground for the enterprise, and while this is a very difficult space to win, especially for unstructured information like text and voice, we are confident Rasa has what it takes given their impressive adoption by developers,” said Andrei Brasoveanu, partner at Accel, in a statement.

He added, “Existing solutions don’t let in-house developer teams control their own automation destiny. Rasa is applying commercial open source software solutions for AI environments similarly to what open source leaders such as Cloudera, Mulesoft, and Hashicorp have done for others.”

(With inputs from VentureBeat)

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