On Wednesday, Bharti Airtel said that it has inked an acquihire deal with AuthMe ID Services (“AuthMe”), a Bengaluru based start-up focused on Artificial Intelligence-based solutions, to increase its efforts around AI technology-based products.

As part of the deal, the core team of AuthMe will join Airtel and be a part of Airtel X Labs in Bengaluru. The telco has acquired the intellectual proprietary rights for two flagship solutions — Callup AI and Fintech OCR — developed by AuthMe.

“We are thrilled to bring on board a bunch of highly talented people who share our passion for building exciting digital solutions that benefit our customers. We are rapidly scaling up Airtel X Labs, our digital innovation factory, and these new solutions will accelerate our journey towards rolling out intuitive digital products, particularly in vernacular languages, for our 430 mn plus customers,” Harmeen Mehta, Global CIO, Bharti Airtel said in a statement.

AuthMe’s Callup AI has created a chat and voice assistant that uses the power of AI to quickly and effectively resolve customer queries over email, chat and phone calls. The Fintech OCR solution is an end to end Optical Character Recognition (OCR) pipeline built for financial documents. The application is designed for processing KYC docs, bank/credit card/loan statements, mark sheets, and can be customised to process known formats of other documents.

Airtel had earlier set up Airtel X Labs with the aim of driving innovation in the areas of AI, IoT, AR and VR and is building a world-class team for the facility. The Sunil Mittal-led telco has already established a large in-house engineering and development team of about 550 people that are focused on rolling out digital platforms.

Airtel recently appointed former NASA executive Santanu Bhattacharya as Chief Data Scientist to accelerate efforts around emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, the Internet of Things, Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality.

Bharti Airtel is currently focusing on identifying use cases around the fifth generation (5G) technology while conducting technology lab test trials in the country. It will use its new digital innovation lab in Bengaluru to explore these 5G use cases with the help of start-ups and technology companies.

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