Potential Buyer Profile: Conversation Intelligence Technology

Goals

Provide information surrounding the classification of potential buyers for conversation intelligence technology for internal use.
  • Specifically, to build a list of previous acquisitions of conversational intelligence technology companies.
  • To provide information about each acquisition, such as the amount involved, the motivation behind the acquisition, and public statements and analyses regarding it.
  • To determine the class or category of the conversation intelligence technology acquired, e.g customer relationship management (CRM), lead generation data solutions, or business process outsourcing (BPO).
  • To determine and build a list of the potential acquirer's client base, e.g The list of clients for WNS Ltd, a potential acquirer in the BPO class/category, include Citibank and Lloyds insurance.

Early Findings

Data Availability

The initial round of research indicates that data availability is adequate on this topic.

Acquisitions

Hootsuite, Remitly, and Microsoft are examples of recent acquirers of conversation intelligence companies, including Heyday, Jargon, and Nuance, respectively. Further details regarding the acquisitions are provided below.

(i) Hootsuite's Acquisition of Heyday

  • On August 03, 2021, Hootsuite announced the acquisition of Heyday, a conversation artificial intelligence (AI) company based in Montreal, Canada for CA$60 million ($47.5 million).
  • Heyday's conversational intelligence capabilities enhance the delivery of personalized customer experiences for brands, via individualized messaging conversations.
  • The key motivation behind this acquisition is for Hootsuite to fully leverage conversation AI in the social media management landscape to offer a better customer experience.
  • According to Voice Bot AI, "The acquisition fits the recent trends of conversational AI startups getting snapped up, especially for commerce and finance purposes. For instance, international finance tech developer Remitly picked up conversational AI startup Jargon in May, while Zoom bought digital contact center Five9 for $14.7 billion just last month."
  • Hootsuite's client base includes millions of users as well as over 200,000 paid accounts, including Marketo Inc, Domino's Pizza Inc, Longchamp, and TransLink.

(ii) Remitly Acquires Jargon

  • On May 12, 2021, Remitly, a Seattle-based mobile remittance company, announced the acquisition of Jargon, a conversation intelligence application developer, for an undisclosed amount.
  • Remitly acquired intellectual property from Jargon, with Jargon's co-founders, Milkana Brace and Jonathan Burstein, as well as three other staff set to join Remitly.
  • The key motivation behind the acquisition is for Remitly to leverage conversation intelligence to offer a better customer experience.
  • According to Matt Oppenheimer, the CEO of Remitly, "We’ve followed Jargon’s trajectory over the last few years and have been inspired by Milkana and Jonathan’s success in building a platform that made it easier for customers around the world to adopt voice technology. As selective as we have and will continue to be in making acquisitions, we knew the Jargon team could help us create better experiences for our own customers. It’s an exciting time to work in financial services as the industry moves more and more digital. Jargon’s leadership and its incredibly talented team will help us continue to exceed customer expectations — both in the near term and beyond."
  • Remitly is an international finance tech developer with a client base of over 1 million customers who send money globally to a range of destinations, including South America, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and Africa.

(iii) Microsoft's Acquisition of Nuance

  • On 14 Apr 2021, Microsoft announced the signing of a deal to acquire Nuance, a US-based conversational AI company, for $19.7 billion.
  • The key motivation behind this acquisition is for Microsoft to "accelerate its industry cloud strategy for healthcare. The company said that the transaction will combine solutions and expertise for providing new cloud and AI capabilities across healthcare and other industries."
  • According to CNET's analysis, "Like many tech companies, Microsoft has invested heavily in artificial intelligence in recent years. Last year, it unveiled an enormous supercomputer for AI work that contained 285,000 processor cores. In 2018, it acquired Xoxco, a startup that develops conversational artificial intelligence, also known as chatbots."

Summary

  • In the initial hour of research, we have been able to provide three acquisitions of conversational AI technology companies, including Hootsuite, Remitly, and Microsoft's acquisition of Heyday, Jargon, and Nuance, respectively.
  • We have also provided a brief overview of the value of each acquisition, as available, as well as the motivation behind them, quotes from executives and third-party sentiments regarding them, a brief overview of the class or category of the software acquired, and an overview of the acquirer's client base.
  • Based on the data availability, we anticipate being able to fully answer all the research questions.

Research proposal:

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