Proto and Two Lakes Group partner to upgrade Africa’s conversational commerce market
July 16, 2019
Johannesburg, South Africa
Partnership to introduce cutting-edge natural language processing to sub-Saharan Africa’s fastest growing digital consumer markets
In its mission to introduce its machine-learning and natural language processing (NLP) technology to emerging conversational commerce markets, Proto, the leader in AI Customer Experience (AICX) solutions has partnered with Johannesburg and Hangzhou-based Two Lakes Group.
Two Lakes Group is a global investment and consulting firm that enables local infrastructure and governance projects in Africa with world-class expertise and technology, leveraging its senior team’s experience in the economic rise of Asia over the past two decades.
Speaking about Africa’s conversational commerce market, Proto CEO Curtis Matlock said, “While most AI startups are focused on Western client bases, Proto sees phenomenal opportunity in sub-Saharan Africa: mobile-first consumer markets with a track record of early tech adoption, the fastest growing middle class and population rates on the planet, and the competitive conditions for regional and international enterprises to deliver localized, cost-effective support to diverse language groups. The key to product-market fit is automation tech that understands complex, local chats; for example, mixed Kinyarwanda-English financial complaints – that’s exactly what Proto's AICX solutions achieve.”
Describing the strategy behind the partnership, Two Lakes Group Senior Partner Adam Wang said, “Our first-hand experience in digital infrastructure projects from Burundi to Chad to Madagascar has shown the demand for scalable and cost-effective technology that solves problems as the continent rapidly develops. Both the Proto and Two Lakes teams have a similar evolution in East Asia, and the deep-learning technology that Proto CTO Wen-Lih Zhuang and his team commercialized for some of the hardest character-based languages in Asia is impressive. Specifically applied to Africa, their capability for mixed-language understanding for chatbots is a game-changer in the region’s multilingual digital commerce.”
Proto has already received letters-of-intent for its AI Customer Experience (AICX) solution for Regulators from several African central banks.
“There’s an urgent demand from regulators to implement cost-effective financial inclusion tech, similar to what Proto recently delivered to the Central Bank of the Philippines,” said Matlock. “Beyond this, our teams will be announcing projects in additional enterprise segments over the coming quarter.”
Proto, the market-leader in AI Customer Experience (AICX) solutions for multilingual contact centers, serves emerging markets and customer segments with a vertically-integrated customer experience product suite and proprietary natural language processing (NLP) engine for non-English languages. Proto's deep-learning technology and domain expertise increase automation rates and maximize customer lifetime value.
About Two Lakes Group
Two Lakes Group is a global investment and consulting firm that enables local infrastructure and governance projects in Africa with world-class technology and expertise, leveraging its senior team’s experience in the economic rise of Asia over the past two decades.