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Call center AI firm ASAPP raises $120 mln, valued at $1.6 bln

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A screenshot of the Call center AI software ASAPP in this undated handout photo obtained on May 18, 2021. Photo courtesy of ASAPP. ASAPP/Handout via REUTERS

May 19 (Reuters) - ASAPP Inc, maker of artificial intelligence software for call center agents, said on Wednesday it raised $120 million, doubling the company’s valuation to $1.6 billion in the past year.

The New York-based startup also doubled its contracts last year as the COVID-19 pandemic moved businesses online at a time when many call centers were shut down or sent their workers to work from home, said founder and Chief Executive Gustavo Sapoznik.

ASAPP software does not replace human call center agents, but instead sends agents real-time suggestions of what to say in response to customers’ comments. For web chats, it presents the agent with multiple potential responses that can be sent with a click, helping both agents and customers save time.

Sapoznik said ASAPP works mainly with large corporations, like JetBlue Airways Corp (JBLU.O) and Dish Network Corp (DISH.O), which spend over a billion dollars on call centers.

The latest funding round brought in new investors, including Fidelity Management & Research Company LLC and Dragoneer. Other investors include former CISCO Systems Inc Chief Executive John Chambers and prominent venture capitalist John Doerr of Kleiner Perkins.

Reporting By Jane Lanhee Lee; Editing by Dan Grebler

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