An AI platform with conversational capabilities raises $4.8 million -
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An AI platform with conversational capabilities raises $4.8 million

An AI platform with conversational capabilities raises $4.8 million

AAustralian startup Curious Thing has raised $4.8 million in its pre-Series A funding round for its AI communication platform, which asks users questions to gain person-based insights.


The latest funding round was led by private investment firm Hawkstone, with participation from Black Sheep Capital, January Capital, and returning investors Reinventure and Qualgro. 


Unlike other virtual assistants, Curious Things’ tech gives rather than receives questions and reminders and is capable of real-time conversation with users. Established in 2018, the group initially entered the public consciousness with its AI system that could conduct a job interview. Now, the tech has been developed to ask users open-ended questions such as how they feel each day, monitoring responses over time to detect trends that may point to ill health, or in the case of financial institutions, the device offers onboarding assistance, and payment reminders and customer feedback collection.


Primarily harnessed in the health, government, and financial industries, current clients include Medibank and Foodpanda, as well as several state and local governments which picked up the technology during the pandemic to check in with COVID patients about their symptoms. 


While the tech’s primary market is Australia, Curious Thing has plans to expand operations in the U.S. and Southeast Asia. Earlier this year, the group announced it would be using cloud communication group Vonage’s API to scale its solution and enable greater geographical reach. 


“With the Curious Thing engine, we can understand people in their own language,” said Curious Thing head of solutions Rik Johnson. “Without Vonage, we wouldn’t be able to connect our customers with huge volumes of people at scale globally, while maintaining personalized connections.”