Salesforce, a global leader in CRM solutions, recently disclosed its plans to acquire Airkit.ai, a renowned low-code platform enabling e-commerce entities to develop AI-empowered customer service agents.
The California-based Airkit, established in 2017 by Adam Evans and Stephen Ehikian, had already been in association with Salesforce. The founders, through their previous venture, RelateIQ, entered a $390 million acquisition deal with Salesforce in 2014.
Initially, Airkit served as a self-serve customer engagement platform, aiding businesses in integrating data silos and facilitating user onboarding. However, the platform underwent a transformation, rebranding to Airkit.ai, and introduced a GPT-4-based platform. This innovative product enables companies like OpenTable and ShipBob to craft specialized customer service chatbots capable of addressing diverse queries relating to order status, product details, refunds, etc.
The relationship between Salesforce and Airkit.ai extends beyond prior acquisitions. The launch of Airkit.ai in 2020 saw an influx of $28 million in funding, with contributions from Salesforce Ventures and Accel, culminating in a total funding of $68 million over six years. Additionally, Airkit marked its presence on Salesforce’s enterprise cloud marketplace, AppExchange, last year.
The unfolding generative AI movement has created a significant buzz, with investors keen on backing innovative startups. Salesforce's pledge to invest $500 million in generative AI startups echoes this sentiment, making Airkit.ai, already strongly connected to Salesforce, a prime acquisition target.
Post-acquisition, anticipated to conclude by January 2024, Airkit.ai is slated to integrate with Salesforce's customer service platform, Service Cloud. Adam Evans will retain his leadership role, steering the business in its new phase.
The impending acquisition of Airkit.ai by Salesforce is a strategic move to blend low-code platforms with AI to redefine customer service solutions. The confluence of innovative AI-driven solutions and expansive CRM capabilities promises to herald a new era in user experience and customer engagement.