Reliance Industries recently announced that its subsidiary, Reliance Digital, has bought Haptik, a firm that specializes in Artificial Intelligence. Haptilk is an AI-based conversational platform and has now been bought for ₹700 Crore. This will be split into two types of transactions. Reliance Industries will be paying ₹ 230 Crore and will also invest an additional ₹ 470 Crore in Haptik to further its research, development, and expansion. This payment will flow into Haptik over the coming 5 years. Once this transaction is carried out, Reliance Industries will own 87% of the company. The founders of Haptik and their employees will own the remaining shares through the stock option grants that they will receive. Furthermore, all of Haptik’s businesses and holdings will then be transferred to Reliance Jio Digital Services.
Currently, one of Haptik’s key investors is Times Internet. The media giant currently owns 70% of the shares of this company. Once the transactions with Reliance are made, however, Times Internet will back out. Haptik had also received funding in the past from Kalaari Capital, however, it had crashed out during a funding round earlier.
Reliance Jio Digital is currently working on building its own set of offerings that have voice-based AI conversational products. Earlier this year, the company had bought Reverie for ₹ 190 Crore.
Reliance Jio’s Director, Akash Ambani spoke about this development. He said “This strategic investment underlines our commitment to further boost the digital ecosystem and provide Indian users conversational AI-enabled devices with multilingual capabilities. We believe voice interactivity will be the primary mode of interaction for Digital India.”
Similarly, Aakrit Vaish, the CEO of Haptik, also spoke about this with the media. He said “Just like the last 250 million Indians who came online skipped the desktop revolution and went straight to mobile, we believe the next 500 million may skip the screen revolution and go straight to voice interactivity. The creation of voice-enabled Natural Language Understanding in major Indian languages shall be a key focus,”
With Haptik, Reliance has acquired 6 startups within the span of 2 months, including EasyGov, CSquare Info Solutions, Sankhya Sutra, and Grab A Grub.