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Proto raises $5.6M Series A for emerging market expansion


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Curtis Matlock (CEO & Founder) and Vanessa Babicz (COO) lead the 30+ global team at Proto, a leading generative AI platform for local customer experience.

The Proto team is delighted to announce that it raised a $5.6M Series A round led by Mucker Capital for emerging market expansion of its AI Customer Experience (AICX) solutions. The round also had participation from current shareholder Yolo Investments.

In the midst of crises that have been especially hard on people in the emerging world – we believe it's more important than ever for organisations to prioritise inclusion as their guiding principle. Here's how Proto is doing this with its conversational AI deployments from Ghana to the Philippines. This Series A round will help Proto expand this mission even further.

Thanks to our clients

Back in 2018 at National Taiwan University, we launched Proto to improve the performance of chatbots for native speakers in the emerging world.

Since then, we've helped governments and enterprises from industries such as financial services and healthcare reach customers in local languages like Kinyarwanda, Tagalog and Twi – as well as common mixed-languages like Taglish and Manglish.

Today, Proto is the leader for inclusive chatbots and multilingual contact centre automation.

We can't thank our clients enough for their trust and partnership in improving machine learning for local languages. Together, we've deployed chatbots that have improved the inclusion and protection of customers that otherwise face long wait times, unresolved cases, and limited language and channel support.

Why this investment?

Mucker Capital Investor Joe Tsai said: "The growth of mobile and internet adoption in the emerging world is stunning, and this continued trend is inevitable. However, due to poor support for their native languages, billions of people are still cut out from critical digital services. Proto’s multilingual, industry-relevant machine learning models and conversational chatbots can unlock greater inclusivity at a massive scale while generating significant ROI for the institutions that adopt it. We are thrilled to support Proto’s mission and partner with Curtis and the entire team."
Yolo Investments General Partner Tim Heath said: "Proto’s great innovation is to use the power of AI to improve the customer experience. The use cases for chatbots are wide-ranging and varied, but ultimately any business serious about offering best-in-class customer support to its users around the world should be exploring this technology. Proto is already leading the pack, and we have absolute confidence in the team to continue to push forward this game-changing field."

What's next?

The Proto team has three immediate priorities:

proLingual™ will open to developers via API to share Proto's proprietary machine learning models for low-resourced languages with the widest possible base of customers. This will include capability for automated speech recognition (ASR) & text-to-speech (TTS), leveraging domain-specific data from Proto's largest deployments.

Government chatbots for more countries to strengthen financial inclusion and consumer protection across industries, in coordination with organisations like the University of Cambridge's SupTech Lab and the African Development Bank.

Team expansion into new regions where Proto's AICX solutions can make a real difference. Proto's growth is only possible with its 90% BIPOC and 50% female management team from the same countries as our clients. If you're interested in joining our global community, check out the available roles.

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