FinTech startup Kasisto, which focuses on artificial intelligence (AI) used in smartbots, announced a $9.2 million Series A funding round Thursday (Jan. 12) that was led by Propel Venture Partners.
The firm said that Mastercard and Commerce Ventures also participated in the investment, as did seed investors DBS Bank, Two Sigma Ventures and the Partnership Fund for New York City, among others.
As part of the transaction, said Kasisto, Propel partner Thomas Whiteaker is joining Kasisto’s board of directors.
Kasisto said the fresh capital will be used to scale its core conversational AI business into new markets and hire additional staff in the engineering and sales functions of the business. Additional focus will be on KAI, the platform that is geared toward what the company bills as “natural intelligent conversations” between consumers and financial institutions, with the goal of expanding into other verticals.
In a statement detailing the funding, Kasisto CEO Zor Gorelov stated, “AI is already having a transformative impact on businesses and is permeating many different areas of people’s lives. We are working with the leaders in the banking industry around the world, and it is exciting to see the powerful new ways that KAI is helping them acquire new customers and interact with existing ones.”
He noted that over the past several months, in 2016, the firm licensed KAI to work with digibank, India’s mobile-only financial firm, and launched virtual assistants in Singapore, India and Indonesia. Mastercard has also launched its pilot program for Mastercard KAI, a bot for banks.