Coinbase acquires India’s Agara for over $40 million

Coinbase is acquiring the Bangalore-based startup Agara, which operates an AI-powered customer support platform, the two said Tuesday, as the cryptocurrency exchange looks to make it easier for users to seek help and join the service.

The firms didn’t share the financial details of the acquisition, but the size of the deal is between $40 million and $50 million, two people familiar with the matter told me. A Coinbase spokesperson didn’t respond to a request for comment. Agara co-founder and chief executive Abhimanyu declined to comment.

Four-year-old Agara, which has operations in India and the U.S., had raised about $7 million from Blume Ventures, RTP Global, UTEC Japan, and Kleiner Perkins prior to the acquisition.

Agara, which has several large customers across the globe and offers integrations with a number of popular services such as Salesforce, Shopify, and Twilio, has built deep expertise in machine learning and natural language processing that it uses to improve user experience.

“We started the firm largely looking at two things. One was customer experience and support. The second was machine learning. The idea was to create an ML tech stack and apply that to customer care,” explained Abhimanyu in an exclusive interview ahead of the announcement.

“Some of the more complicated things we do are around phone calls. We have been working to automate much of, if not all, of the support that happens through phone calls,” he said.

The startup’s tech team will join Coinbase as part of the deal, he said.

“We plan to leverage Agara’s powerful technology to automate and enhance our customer experience (CX) tools. Improving our CX remains a top priority for Coinbase — in the past few months we have increased our support staff headcount by 5x and announced that we’ll deliver 24/7 phone support and live messaging by end of year. Through this acquisition, we’ll be able to provide our customers with new personalized, intelligent, and real-time support options,” said Manish Gupta, EVP of Engineering at Coinbase, in a blog post.

This is a developing story. More to follow…

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