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Ann Arbor's Clinc makes history, raises $52 million to advance its conversational AI technology

Crunchbase: This is single largest investment in any conversational AI startup

Credit: Clinc

ANN ARBORClinc announced Monday it has raised $52 million in Series B round funding, bringing total investments in the artificial intelligence innovator to $60 million.

According to the Crunchbase database, the round has made history for the company, known for its natural language, conversational AI technology: It is the largest single investment of any conversational AI startup ever.

New investor Insight Partners led the round along with DFJ Growth and existing investors Hyde Park Venture Partners and Drive Capital. 

Jeff Lieberman, Managing Director of Insight Partners will join Clinc's board of directors and Randy Glein, of DFJ Growth, will join the board of advisors.

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Since launching in 2016, Clinc has pioneered the conversational AI category and enjoyed enormous success. In 2018, the startup reached 300% year-over-year revenue growth and is projected to more than triple the business again in 2019.

Clinc's virtual assistants and conversational AI experiences have been deployed around the world, including at renowned financial institutions Barclays, USAA and Turkey's Isbank. Ford Motor Co. also uses its technology as do health care companies and quick-service restaurants. Its platform is currently available to 30 million users.

"We’ve had phenomenal growth and built unbelievable momentum in a very short period of time," Jason Mars, Clinc CEO, said in a statement. "Now we’re adding more world class investors to support our growing team as we work to accelerate the pace of innovation and to reshape the conversational AI landscape, one industry at a time."

Clinc plans on using the new capital to expand its team, invest in product innovation and open a new 26,000-square-foot office in Ann Arbor. By the end of 2019, Clinc plans to employ 140 people.

What investors are saying

"We are thrilled to welcome Clinc into the Insight portfolio and partner to help global companies deploy conversational AI to scale their businesses," Lieberman said in a statement. "At Insight, we look for companies utilizing the most innovative technological advancements and Clinc has shown this with their conversational AI experiences and virtual assistant solutions that mimic human intelligence. We look forward to working together to further Clinc’s growth and scale their business."
"We are delighted to be partnering with Clinc to bring conversational AI to the world," Glein said in a statement. "Voice-based computing has been on our radar for several years as legacy speech recognition and IVR solutions have not kept pace with demands of modern enterprises. Clinc has emerged as a new generation leader by making true conversational, AI-assisted voice computing accessible to enterprises that make customer experience their top priority. Clinc is unlocking a voice-driven platform that is quickly taking us into the future of responsive computing."
"Clinc proves once again that a small team of dedicated engineers can create a breakthrough product against the large incumbent companies," Mark Kvamme, partner and co-founder at Drive Capital, said in a statement. "Clinc also demonstrates that many of the most technologically advanced products are coming out of the Midwest."
About Clinc
Clinc is the leading global provider of conversational artificial intelligence technologies for companies like USAA, Ford, İşbank, Barclays and others. Headquartered in Ann Arbor, Michigan, the company was founded in 2015 by world-class AI and systems research professors at the University of Michigan. Utilizing the world's most sophisticated natural language processing engine and the most advanced scientific discoveries in AI research, Clinc’s AI emulates human intelligence and is able to understand unstructured, unconstrained speech, and can interpret not only semantics and intent, but the underlying meaning of user queries.

Learn more at clinc.com.

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About the Author:

Meredith Bruckner

Meredith has worked for WDIV since August 2017 and was voted one of Washtenaw County's best journalists in 2019 by eCurrent's readers. She covers the community of Ann Arbor and has a Master's degree in International Broadcast Journalism from City University London, UK.