AI start-up Futr. raises £2.4m in seed funding

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London-based machine learning start-up Futr. has secured £2.4m in seed funding, in a round led by VC firm Praetura Ventures. 

The funding will be used to accelerate delivery of the firms’ ambitious tech road-map, with the team more than doubling this year to meet the large demand for Futr.’s products.

Founded in 2017 by Andy Wilkins and Lee Skyrme, Futr.’s conversation-as-a-service is already powering clients across a range of industries, including the police, central and local government and a number of leading private sector organisations. 

Futr.’s technology simplifies how organisations deliver their services on the channels that their staff and consumers use every day, like Alexa, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, in over 100 languages.

Plug n’ play

With Futr.’s plug n’ play model, integration with existing systems old and new can be fast-tracked, providing users with a single intelligent chat interface that overlays any number of back-end systems. 

The products cover a wide range of internal and external conversation solutions, for instance providing an organisational assistant for employees, and 24/7 self-service for citizens or customers. 

This comes as consumer appetite for instant, natural language communication with brands and public services is higher than ever, with the market set to grow to $15.7 billion by 2024, at a CAGR of 30.2%.

Big tech partners 

Futr. has already been invited to partner with a number of global tech giants such as Amazon and Microsoft – who identified Futr. as ‘a top priority partner’. 

The funding will enable them to further this growth and expedite feature development of the Futr. platform. To support these new tech capabilities, Futr. will be significantly growing its team of developers, data engineers and data scientists.

Andy Wilkins, CEO of Futr., said: “Lee and I founded Futr. because we believe that simple conversation is the ultimate user interface. 

“We’re passionate about delivering universal access to products and services - where tech savviness, language, availability and channel shift are no longer barriers.

“We’ve built a lot of clever tech that makes this simplicity possible, but this is only the beginning. For the next part of our journey it was really important to find the right type of support for Futr. and so we’re delighted that Praetura Ventures and the other investors who share our vision have come onboard. 

“With their experience and backing we’ll continue to deliver exceptional products and solve some of our customers’ most meaningful problems.”

Guy Weaver, Director, Praetura, said: “Since we met Futr., we’ve been really impressed with how quickly their pipeline of opportunities has grown. 

“The platform architecture gives Futr. a competitive advantage, meaning it’s leading developments in the rapidly expanding Conversation as a Service market. 

“We believe chatbot technology is a high-growth area, and Futr. is in a great position to take advantage of the increased demand.

“With Praetura’s experience in successfully scaling Software as a Service businesses, we’re well suited to help Futr. develop its go-to-market strategy and scale its tech team which will be vital to ensure the business meets its potential.”

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