Ordering genie, if I may call it, Niki is an Artificial Intelligence powered chatbot that’s set out to simplify your ordering experience. It works through a simple chat interface and currently serves Recharge, Cab booking & Postpaid Bill payments while lot more services are in the pipeline. Niki aspires to be a one stop solution for all of your ordering needs. Especially when you have to order from different platforms and managing stuff at 10 different places can be a pain. Talking about the actual problem statement here,one of the founders Sachin Jaiswal, says:
“Many users are not able to follow up with the continuing increase in number of apps, due to low memory phones and slow internet connection. There was a need to cut the noises around excess content to a more personalized suggestion and decision-making. The answer was a chatbot which could simplify online ordering.”
Niki was founded in 2015 by Sachin Jaiswal, Shishir Modi, Keshav Prawasi, Nitin Babel, 4 graduates from IIT-KGP and is currently based out of Bangalore. The current team of 20 people, comprising developers, designers and growth hackers have created a very effective and scalable product. The team is also exactly aware of their strengths. While talking to Knowstartup about the competitive advantage that their team has, Shishir says:
“While most of it’s competitors are man powered, Niki is an AI powered chatbot that gets your things done almost instantly, working seamlessly even on 2G.”
Niki boasts of 5k downloads and around 200-300 orders per day. It is working on expanding its portfolio of services in the months to come. Services such as bus ticketing, food ordering, movie ticketing will soon follow. Niki currently monetizes on the transactions that happen through the platform. Recently, Ronnie Screwvala’s Unilazer Ventures invested an undisclosed amount in seed funding in the startup. The team had been operating in stealth-mode for past seven months and has been releasing and testing its beta versions with a limited user set.
So, what can Niki help you with? You can search , discover , confirm and pay using this chat robot that recognizes human language inputs for the questions it asks. If you want a cab booked or your recharge done, it will be as simple as answering a few questions. Your preferences are saved and used to suggest options in future. Niki will follow your recharge schedule, manage your payments, suggest improved plans, and even remind you of balance deadlines, so you can stay informed with almost no effort. Niki also provides in-chat payment options, powered by PayTM wallet. The user needs to provide the OTP in the chat and Niki handles the rest.
I personally would not like to compare Niki with Siri because while Siri helps you with your day to day chores, Niki is more on the E-commerce side of things. Niki’s fresh approach, ease of use and the fact that it works well on 2G speed as well, makes it a candidate with more reach in the country. As the demand for virtual assistants is increasing by the day, it will be great to see how much of the market Niki grabs with the addition of voice capability, integration with web, smartphones, tablets etc and introduction of numerous categories for which one can order.