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American crypto exchange Coinbase has announced it is acquiring Agara to take advantage of the startup’s expertise in machine leartning.
Prominent American crypto exchange Coinbase Global Inc (NASDAQ: COIN) is buying Agara, an Indian autonomous virtual voice agent, according to an official announcement. Coinbase expects to finalize the acquisition, which serves as its first startup acquisition in India, later this year. Although the actual sum Coinbase paid for the AI-powered customer support startup is unknown, reports suggest that the deal is worth between $40 million and $50 million.
Coinbase is looking to tap into Agara’s wealth of resources and expertise in machine learning and natural language processing. Furthermore, the company wants to leverage that to make it easier for users to join the service and get the required assistance. Manish Gupta, EVP – Engineering at Coinbase had this to say about the impending collaboration:
“We plan to leverage Agara’s powerful Deep Learning and Conversational AI technology to automate and enhance our customer experience (CX) tools. Improving our CX remains a top priority for Coinbase – in the past few months we have increased our support staff headcount by 5x and announced that we’ll deliver 24/7 phone support and live messaging by end of year.”
Furthermore, Gupta rounded off by stating that Coinbase’s customers will now have access to “new personalized, intelligent, and real-time support options.”
Coinbase-Agara Partnership Looks to Raise the Bar in AI for Customer Support
Back in July, Coinbase stated interest in building a tech hub in India. The leading crypto exchange even enlisted Pankaj Gupta, a former Google Pay executive, to head its Indian development center. At the time, Gupta suggested that Coinbase would consider startup acquisitions to fast-track its growth in the South Asian country. Now, Agara’s team, predominantly based in India, will join Coinbase, according to the startup’s co-founder and CEO Abhimanyu.
Coinbase went public earlier this year in April and backed domestic crypto exchanges such as CoinDCX and CoinSwitch Kuber. Both backed exchanges joined the United States’ startup unicorn club this year.
Agara is a four-year-old company that grew out of India and now runs operations in the United States as well. Before the Coinbase acquisition, the AI-providing firm had raised $7 million from a host of venture capital firms. They included Blume Ventures, RTP Global, UTEC Japan, and Kleiner Perkins, according to data intelligence platform Tracxn.
Agara currently has a staff of over 40 people, in addition to amassing a much larger body of customers worldwide. In addition, the Indian firm also provides integration with a number of notable services. These include Salesforce, Shopify, and Twilio; Agara will start focusing on Coinbase after the acquisition, according to Abhimanyu.
The company CEO revealed that Agara’s two main service priorities as a business are customer service/support, and machine learning. The idea was to create an ML tech stack and apply that to customer care,” Abhimanyu said. Furthermore, Agara’s CEO also gave one of the company’s most complicated undertakings as attempting to automate 100% of phone-calls support.