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India’s mobile handset manufacturer Micromax has invested in an artificial intelligence-enabled Chatbot startup ‘One Labs‘, which has developed chat bot like Apple’s Siri and Google Assistant. The amount of investment has not been disclosed however.

With this, Micromax Informatics — the world’s 10th largest handset maker — will bring users closer to smarter user experiences. The move further highlights Micromax’s focus towards providing best in class services to its consumers, by strategically collaborating with top partners to provide customized offerings to its users. In the past, Micromax has partnered with and made investment in some of the leading technology startups like Ixigo, Healthifyme, IndusOS, Gaana.com and others, to develop strategically relevant deployments of software that leverage its consumer footprint. Notably, in early 2017 Micromax had setup a $100 million fund for investing in startups.

The homegrown mobile handset maker is seeking recognition beyond just a mobile handset manufacturer and thus with investments in new-age startups, aims to diversify its offerings. Since 2015, its trying to match up with brands like Apple and Samsung. In the same year, the company had also filed for four of hardware patents.

The funding will be used by the startup for further product development and have 200+ apps on the platform within the next 12 months by opening inOne to third party developers and making it an instant app platform. Combining 50+ apps in less than 10 Mb required a mammoth tech effort and the team has several patents in the pipeline on their technology.

One Labs was founded in 2015 by Rahul Gupta from IIT Kanpur/IIM Bangalore/Cornell University, Ankit Sharma from PEC Chandigarh and Aashish Gupta from PEC Chandigarh. They have raised an undisclosed amount of seed funding from Puneet Gupta of Executive Director at Goldman Sachs, Savio Joseph Director of UBS and Vinay Gupta Executive Director of DBS.

The flagship product of One Labs, ‘inOne’ is a a services conglomerate and transaction engine app. It can be used to get Movies, Shop, Groceries, Cabs, Home Services and more within a single app.

In addition, One Labs has also created an AI-enabled voice/chatbot solution called One Assistant which packages services provided on ‘inOne’ in a virtual assistant format. The company has released a short comparison on how the One Assistant outperforms Siri and Google Assistant in a variety of use cases.

Comparison of One Assistant with Google Assistant and Siri

Post this funding, ‘inOne’ will be pre-embedded in Micromax devices and will further augment the features available to users on its Around platform.

Vikas Jain, Co-Founder, Micromax Informatics said, “At Micromax our emphasis is to drive innovations through software and services that would add a layer to the device eco-system. A large chunk of our efforts are now concentrated on coming up with products and services which act as solutions to the needs of the fast-evolving consumers, empowering them with the latest technological innovations and eventually becoming an extension of their lifestyle. Given the fact that, artificial intelligence is the future of device ecosystem, we look forward to seeing how the partnership with One Labs will enable us to enhance user experience even further”.

Rahul Gupta, the CEO and Co-founder, One Labs said, “We are proud to be working Micromax to bring over 100 million Micromax consumers closer to our compelling platform. While phone hardware is getting smarter and more efficient, we wanted to make apps smarter. Like Mobiles replaced pagers, we forsee that in a few years all in one apps like inOne will replace the need to download separate apps for different use cases.”

inOne – The All in One App Platform

The inOne platform currently hosts 50+ apps, combined in a neat package of under 10mb and can be downloaded from the Google Play Store. Some of the apps accessible on the inOne platform are Zomato, Ola, Uber, Flipkart, Amazon, Snapdeal, Housejoy, Nearbuy, Urban Clap, ixigo and BookMyShow. By virtue of combining apps, inOne enables price comparison across categories. For instance, Shoppr and TabShop @inOne compares prices across Flipkart, Amazon, Snapdeal and Paytm. So whether it is buying a phone or camera or anything else — the user gets the best price possible.

In addition, the low memory footprint of inOne drastically helps save space of upto 3GB and reduce background activity on your mobile device. This significantly improves the performance and battery life — a core problem faced by all smartphone users.

Related Reading – Anatomy of Bots, Chatbots and Virtual Assistants

To recall, last July Freshworks (formerly Freshdesk) acquired a chatbot startup called Joe Hukum, which too was based out of Gurgaon. Later, in the same year, an another Gurgaon based AI chatbot startup iDelivr got acquired by Phonon Communications.

The year 2017 was dominated by various chatbot activities as Amazon launched chatbot tools for developers, to help them build chat features into their own app while Microsoft launched India-specific chatbot called Ruuh, which later got wind up by the company however.

According to a survey report by Oracle, it was revealed that about 80 per cent of the companies surveyed are interested in making use of chatbots within a period of next 4 years so as to take their customer service to another level.

Top-Most Image – L to R: Aashish Gupta, Ankit Sharma, Rahul Gupta (Co-Founders inOne), Vikas Jain (Co-Founder Micromax)

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Suman Chaudhary
An engineer by education and writer by profession, Suman keeps tab on startup ecosystem of India and leads the research team of IndiaWeb2 for covering funding deals, merger & acquisition and market reports.

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