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October - 2008 - issue > STARTUP CITY
Alabot
Jayakishore Bayadi
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Interacting with computers without any mechanical interface is still a distant dream. A recent Gartner report says that some of the many challenges in this area include the ability to detect gestures, developing a gesture dictionary and the need for real-time processing. Another set of challenges relate to natural language processing (NLP), which include speech synthesis, speech recognition, natural language understanding, natural language generation, machine translation and translating one natural language into another.

Here is a startup called ALABOT, which hopes to address this hitch. It is building an interface that is intuitive and intelligent and requires no learning curve. The startup aims to bring the advantage of natural language processing (NLP) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to most regularly used applications like Instant Messengers and Mobile phones so that Alabot can behave in exactly the same way you would with a friend. “It mimics human interaction,” says Akshat Shrivastava, CEO. It guides the user through the whole process - leaving the user to concentrate on what he really wants from the ecosystem. Alabot, which was in stealth mode for 1.5 years, was started as a confluence of entrepreneurial flair, and intelligence, with its two partners Akshat Shrivastava and Gaurav Prasad.

HEADQUARTERS
Pune, India
PRODUCTS
Ala, a product which can facilitate Search / Buy / Sell / Talk / network / learn / Create Communities. Currently on gtalk (Alabot.travel@gmail.com), coming soon as a widget, SMS and WAP portal and on Yahoo, MSN and Skype Messengers
PRINCIPALS
CEO—Akshat Shrivastava CTO—Gaurav Prasad

Akshat Shrivastava has been a serial entrepreneur, starting his first venture right after he left university, co-founded a UK based BPO Company called Xanadutec. In Alabot he handles strategy and direction.
Gaurav Prasad leads research and development of the product. He is a veteran in creating innovative applications and is based in Noida.
OTHER OFFICES
Noida (development), Bangalore (Business Development) and London, UK (Business Development).
WEBSITE
www.alabot.com Blog.alabot.com

INVESTORS
Self-Funded CUSTOMERS
A travel portal, various content sites, and Banks. COMPETITORS
Other search companies.

DIFFERENTIATOR Simply put, Alabot’s software analyzes, understands, and interprets languages that humans use naturally, so that eventually one can able to address his of her application as though he or she addresses another person, i.e. in a typical syntax-free discussion format. Alabot uses high-level AI and semantics through an interactive application to search, query, solve, and buy through a single window approach. The true reach of this product is its scalability and ability to invade every aspect of all online activity, and is unique in the fact that it is platform independent. Interestingly, it successfully removes the barrier of language, spelling, syntax, style, content and sentence structure across a mobile device, Instant messenger and the web.

Other differentiating factor is they have regional language interface and an ability to understand context. India having 300 million mobile users hardly 10-15 percent know English. Due to this the majority are currently do not have the luxury of content discovery and search. Hence the company can reach out to them through their regional language interface and intelligent and adaptive engine.

BUSINESS MODEL Alabot aims to make money in several ways. That includes Pay per conversation, License for embedding Ala on website / Mobile / SMS gateways, Selling advertising content on all three spaces, OEM licensing model, Commission on sales / products / services sold (AlaCom ecommerce platform) and by Revenue from SMS and GPRS.

QUEUED UP Keep improving on the technology and spread its use across all verticals. Give easy access to content to people irrespective of language or area.

TIME LINE
2006: Company Founded
2007: Chosen for Headstart – Bangalore
2008: Launches Product/ Wins Global Innovation Award – London
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