Texas AI Company Conversable Acquired by LivePerson

Conversable will join LivePerson in taking conversational commerce to the "Main Street market," according to Conversable co-founder Ben Lamm.

Conversation technology is a “transformative interface,” he says.

Ben Lamm and Andrew Busey founded Conversable in 2016. [Photo: Conversable]

Conversational commerce company LivePerson announced it acquired Conversable, an AI company with a conversational intelligence platform and which bills itself as “Made in Texas” with offices in Dallas and Austin. 

Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed, but Conversable CEO and co-founder Ben Lamm, told Dallas Innovates he plans on helping with the transition and will continue as an executive adviser to LivePerson post-acquisition. The Conversable team is joining LivePerson as part of the deal, Lamm says.

Branding details around Conversable’s technology haven’t been determined because it’s still early in the transition process, but “Conversable is now fully part of the LivePerson family,” Lamm said.

The two groups are working together to integrate the relevant parts of their combined technologies and software to create what he described as “the best products for our combined customer list.”

Hypergiant launched in February

In February, Lamm, who is based in Dallas, announced launching Hypergiant, an artificial intelligence company with a three-pronged approach to the technology including both business and science applications of AI tech, as well as a venture fund division that supports the machine intelligence industry.

“The acquisition will have no impact on Hypergiant,” Lamm said. “As you know, we have a very ambitious vision at Hypergiant Industries and all of its divisions. Since I will no longer have a full-time role at Conversable, it will definitely give me addition cycles to spend on our growth and vision at Hypergiant Industries.”

Chatbot platform

Since Conversable launched in 2016, it has deployed over 100 bots for major brands, according to a release.

Now, the deal between LivePerson and Conversable will add to the AI, social listening, and outbound messaging campaign management capabilities of the LiveEngage platform, as well as Conversable’s client list that specializes in the quick-service restaurant and hospitality industries. The company’s solutions have been adopted by industry leaders TGI Fridays, McDonald’s, Dunkin’, Chick-fil-A, Pizza Hut, and Denny’s. 

Conversable is an integral part of TGI Friday’s AI strategy, TGI Friday’s Sherif Mityas said. It’s a strategy that “doubled our off-premise sales in just the last year, responsible for about $150 million in revenue growth,” Mityas said in a release.

Conversational commerce

Conversational commerce involves combining AI and natural language — allow brands to interact with customers and create a conversation and process sales through technology.

It’s a transformative interface, Lamm said — and an unprecedented opportunity. And at least one study seems to support that:  Gartner predicts chatbots will power 85 percent of all customer service interactions by the year 2020, according to Rebecca Hines in Inc. “The average person will have more conversations with chatbots than with their spouse,” she wrote, citing the same study.

“Businesses that get started early will have the most important advantage in the AI era,” Lamm said.

Customers don’t want to download more apps or navigate websites to place orders, LivePerson CEO and founder Robert LoCascio said, but instead want to “type, tap, or voice order what they want from the messaging services they already enjoy.”

“Conversable brings to LivePerson social listening and outbound marketing capabilities that enhance conversational commerce, along with a set of templates and integrations that accelerate [chatbot] development for common consumer tasks like ordering ahead at restaurants,” LoCascio said in a statement.

Conversable’s development team will join hundreds of LivePerson engineers focused on conversational commerce in telecommunications, financial services, retail, travel and automotive, he said.

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