Zhuiyi Technology (Zhuiyi, 追一科技), a Shenzhen headquartered enterprise intelligent services AI company, completed the Series C funding round of USD 41 million. This round was led by an investment fund called Zhongbai (中百基金) backed by China Merchants Capital, with participation from leading institutional investors such as GGV Capital (纪源资本), Sinovation Ventures (创新工场), Morningside Venture Capital (晨兴资本) and Gaorong Venture Capital (高榕资本). Capital raised from this round will be used to R&D, talents acquisition and global expansion.
Zhuyi is an enterprise intelligent service AI company founded in 2016 with strong focuses on deep learning and NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming).
Who Zhuiyi serves and how
Zhuyi mainly targets enterprises clients and provide them with advanced AI solutions and land projects. For example, its clients are now across finance, internet, retail, real estate and energy sectors including China Merchants Bank (credit card businesses), Didi Chuxing, China Mobile, Wanda, and China Southern Power Grid, etc.
Zhuiyi came up with so-called E³ strategy. Zhuiyi told EqualOcean that this strategy contains 3Es which are efficiency, experience and enterprise value. It means initially Zhuiyi would like to increase business's efficiency via its AI products such as Yibot, increase customer experiences by increasing the AI's accuracies in conversational interactions and ultimately help enterprises clients to achieve greater values.
There are four founding members. All of them have worked in Tencent. Back in 2016, after receiving the angel investments from Morningside Venture Capital, Wuyue (吴悦), the founder of Zhuyi decided to quit from Tencent and set up an AI company.
Wuyue (CEO & Director)
Education background: University of Science and Technology of China (Master degree)
Past experience: Wu Worked at Technology Engineering Group (TEG), one of the six main groups in Tencent. WU served as the head of AI Platform Development and "Fine Art" team (绝艺), an AI project commonly known as the Chinese AlphaGo project. Wu was the youngest T4 expert engineer.
Note: Tencent has position rankings for technical staff from T1 (assistant technical staff) to T6 (chief scientist).
LIU Yuneng (刘云峰, co-founder & CTO)
Past experience：LIU is also a T4 expert having more than 10 years of experiences in web search engine, NLP and machine learning.
WEN Linding (汶林丁, co-founder)
Past experience：WEN worked as product director of AI Platform Department. He has led the projects such as storage system of Q-zone Album, picture unified storage system, Tencent's web search engine etc.
HU Xiao (胡晓, CMO & co-founder)
Education background: Tsinghua University (EMBA)
Past experience: HU has over 15 years of experience in marketing and sales and worked for both Tencent and SOhu. In Tencent, he has covered products such as MyApp, WeSecure, Tencent Map, QQ Browser. In Sohu, he was Senior Manager and managed the PR and promotion activities for Sogou Input, Sogou Browser, Sohu TV and Sohu News.
Commented by LI Kaifu (李开复), the direcot and CEO of Sinovation Ventures, Zhuyi is the best NLP company in China and in the world. In 2017, LI said in an interview that he feels regreted that he has invested in around 40 AI-related companies while none are doing NLP related until he got to know Zhuiyi.
One of the most promising future for Zhuiyi's propducts is to replace human customer services staffs. Back to the end of 2016, Yibot, a smart customer service product developed by Zhuiyi reaches 96% accuracy comapred to 85% by humna customer services.
LI agrees on the direction that Zhuiyi is heading - replace human customer services staff in China, the US and India in the future. He estimated that in the three countries mentioned above, there are more than 20 million customer support staff and if the costs for one staff is USD 20 thousand then the market size would be USD 400 billion. He believes it takes 5-10 years for machines to replace human customer services.
Li also believes the valution of Zhuiyi is likely to exceed USD 10 billion making it another unicorn to be.