Salesforce have just announced a definitive agreement to acquire Airkit.ai, a company that provides code-free customer agent bots, focused on commerce interactions.
The CRM giant was one of the first major software companies to announce AI innovations for their platform earlier this year, and they’re showing no signs of slowing down. Let’s take a look at what this acquisition could mean…
Airkit.io provides an easy to use AI Agent (chatbot) platform with a focus on the commerce industry. That is, to answer questions to do with order status, returns, order issues, or product support.
Powered by OpenAi’s GPT-4, Airkit.io’s platform focuses on solving customer queries before they are ever seen by a human, promising to resolve 90%+ of customer questions instantly.
Until recently, Airkit.ai provided a low-code platform in order to unify silos of data into a seamless journey across all channels, supporting agents. But last month, underwent a rebrand from Airkit to Airkit.ai, releasing their new GPT-4 powered customer service solution.
Founded by Adam Evans & Stephen Ehikian in 2017, the company’s creators are no stranger to Salesforce, having sold their previous company “RelateIQ” to Salesforce for $390 million in 2014.
Salesforce is already in the chat game, with many customers successfully implementing and using their Live Agent feature which integrates seamlessly into Service Cloud. Salesforce also launched Einstein Bots in 2018, which, similarly to Airkit.ai, provided a low-code platform in order to build automated customer agent experiences.
Einstein Bots were born out of the acquisition spree that Salesforce went on in 2016, purchasing over 10 AI startups throughout the year. Whilst Einstein Bots provided an easy to use platform that gave customers the chance to get answers to their queries quicker, it was ultimately fairly rudimentary compared to the generative AI movement we are currently seeing, spearheaded by OpenAI.
In a press release from the Airkit.ai rebrand last month, founder Stephen Ahikian had the following to say about modern customer service, something I’m sure we can all relate to.
Customer satisfaction is at a 17-year low, call center teams are more stressed than ever, and despite significant technological advances over the past few years, most retail brands are stuck with legacy FAQ bots that lack the intelligence needed to resolve customer needs.
Since Salesforce bought Slack back in 2021 for $27.7 billion, they have slowed their historical acquisition sprees. This was both a combination of pressure from investors to properly integrate existing platforms they’ve purchased, as well as pressure from activist investors to focus on profitability.
But with the AI arms race underway to see who can dominate their market first, acquisitions may be necessary to bring in specialist platforms, as well as the rare talent that has experience in this area.