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AI-powered concierge service startup Laiye secures Series B for enterprise services, & more

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AI-powered concierge service startup, Laiye, receives tens of millions of USD for Series B

Laiye

Founder: Wang Guanchun

Founded in: 2015

Financing status: Series B financing in 2017 amounting to hundreds of millions of RMB (tens of millions in USD)

AI-powered concierge service startup, Laiye, received tens of millions of USD for Series B on December 21 to promote its enterprise concierge service, wul.ai.

Laiye is an AI-powered concierge service startup that provides enterprise customers with AI-oriented concierge service solutions, and provides individual users with a variety of services including smart calendars, ride hailing, business travel, express delivery, etc.

Laiye takes the form of both a service account inside the WeChat messaging app and an individual app for individual users. Its app looks a bit like a messaging app. Once users make specific requests by speaking or texting, such as ”get me a coffee” or “book me a flight”,  then the app will connect to other services to fulfill users’ demands. Meanwhile, users can also realize their demands through Laiye’s WeChat Official Account, which is like chatting with a person.

Additionally, Laiye targets business customers with its AI oriented concierge service solutions. Moreover, Laiye also released its enterprise concierge service, wul.ai, which is defined as an interactive machine. Unlike conventional intelligent customer service, Laiye’s wul.ai places its emphasis on active service provision, while conventional customer services often respond passively to customers. wul.ai is available in various cases, for sales cases, it can not only provide support after sale services, but also help maintain customers during sales, offer suggestions, as well as promote services. Laiye’s enterprise concierge services focus on providing customized and personal services in order to maintain a long term relationship with customers.

Founded in 2015 in Beijing, Laiye’s services have adapted to the retail, travel, education and financial industries, with partners including China Mobile, Ctrip, SPD Bank, and so on. Laiye’s wul.ai is specializing in knowledge mining, task-based dialogue, automatic question and answer, business intelligence and user portrait, as well as personal recommendation, among others.

This new financing round was led by Wu Capital, with Light Speed Capital and Sequoia Capital China participating as investors. The capital will be used to further invest in the research and development of technology, recruit more talents, as well as promote its enterprise concierge service, wul.ai.

Photo from Baidu Images.

New retail startup Zailouxia receives USD 15M for financing

Zailouxia

Founded in: 2017

Financing status: RMB 100 million (USD 15 million) for financing in 2017

New retail startup, Zailouxia, received USD 15 million for financing on December 21 to turn its unmanned containers into public refrigerators in communities.

Zailouxia is a new retail startup that provides customers with snack food, fresh food, commodities for daily use, and other retail services in communities. Unlike other unmanned convenience stores that also target community areas, Zailouxia prefers to deploy unmanned containers rather than whole stores. The company developed this unmanned container with its original equipment manufacturer. It looks like a large enclosed container wherein customers can browse commodities through the glass in the right side, after which they can pay with their smartphones and pick up their shipment in the left side of the container.

Zailouxia mainly puts these unmanned containers in communities. Its name, “Zailouxia”, translates directly to “just downstairs”. Moreover, it makes its unmanned containers public refrigerators in communities, which enables customers to place orders online, and pick up their goods in the refrigerators downstairs themselves.

Compared with other unmanned convenience stores, its containers can avoid the problem of human contact, such as health, theft, damages, and so on. Each of its containers cover an area of 5-15 square meters, which can accommodate up to 400 SKU, and will increase to 800 in the future.

The company was founded in 2017 in Beijing. Its operations are based on WeChat groups, and Mini-Programs on WeChat. Customers can get coupons on WeChat for discounts, which facilitates consumption.

Zailouxia has secured three rounds of financing since its establishment in July, and accumulated to USD 15 million. Investors include IDG, VisionPlus Capital, Unity Ventures, Hike Capital, and so on. The company plans to place more of its unmanned containers and public refrigerators in more communities.

(Top photo from 699pic.com)

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