​Salesforce Ventures part of US$40 million investment into Soul Machines

Virtual assistant company works to reimage how machines interact with humans

New Zealand company, Soul Machines, has raised US$40 million in series B investment to help with its quest to re-imagine how humans connect with machines. 

Soul Machines is an AGI Research company developing an autonomous animation platform aimed at humanising brands and the ways people engage with them. The latest investment round was led by Temasek from Singapore, with participation from Lakestar, a European Venture Fund, and Salesforce Ventures, along with further investment from existing investors Horizons Ventures, University of Auckland Inventors Fund and others from earlier rounds. 

With the funds, Soul Machines plans to continue expanding globally with specific focus on research and development and increasing its operating footprint around the world to meet growing demand.

Soul Machines describes its technology as lifelike, emotionally responsive 'digital heroes with personality and character' that talk to humans face-to-face. The company has deployed its HumanOS platform and virtual assistants for a range of global brands in retail, automotive, banking and finance including Procter & Gamble, Bank ABC, The Royal Bank of Scotland and more. Key initiatives in the education and healthcare fields are also underway.

Among its avatars is Nadia, a virtual human voiced by Cate Blanchett and trialled by the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) in 2018. Nadia was designed to operate across multiple channels from the outset to create a consistent interaction for clients, with the face being just one representation. Another example of Soul Machines’ virtual humans in action is Sophie, a pilot customer interaction project for Air New Zealand.

Soul Machines was founded by Academy Award winner, Mark Sagar, and serial entrepreneur, Greg Cross, in 2016 and spun out of the University of Auckland. 

“We have enjoyed getting to know and work with the teams at Temasek, Lakestar and Salesforce Ventures and believe they are the perfect partners to help as we continue to expand and grow our business, technology and client base globally,” Cross said. “We are very grateful for the continued support from Horizons Ventures who are highly valued partners that understand how great technology businesses are built." 

Salesforce Ventures head of Australia, Rob Keith, said it is proud to announce Salesforce Ventures’ investment in Soul Machines because it has an obsessive focus on improving customer experience by using artificial intelligence technology in new ways. 

“We look forward to continuing to work with Soul Machines as it scales and realises its global aspirations,” he stated.

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, follow our regular updates via CMO Australia's Linkedin company page, or join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia.   

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Blog Posts

Channelling climate positive design

As we enter 2020, the new decade spells infinite possibility in digital and design. Yet ironically, the biggest trend we’re facing has nothing to do to with innovative technology. It is something much more ‘down to earth’: The state of our planet. Or more specifically: Climate change.

Katja Forbes

Founder and chief, sfyte

Non-linear transformation: The internal struggle

Let’s face it, transformation is messy. Every business is different, with a set of specific challenges based on a mixture of external (the market, competitors, regulation) and internal factors (technology, people and process investments over time).

Neil Kelly

Partner, transformation, Wunderman Thompson

7 ways to champion a human centred design culture

Human Centred Design (HCD) has come a long way in the last decade with many forward-thinking organisations now asking for HCD teams on their projects. It’s increasingly seen as essential to unlocking innovation, driving superior customer experiences and reducing delivery risk.

Shane Burford

Head of research and design, RXP Group

Nice to read the post. A good leader and an effective recruitment in top level is a must for smooth running business. Congrats..

Wollermann Business Brokers

Aus Post recruits tasks new CMO with building modern iconic brand

Read more

I think some of these ideas are great. These tips will help me to improve my system. Thanks!

Henry Reid

9 Ways to Improve Your Company's CRM System

Read more

It's a useful info for small businesses owners. We can't live without mobile apps. They are so helpful! It's hard to deny that.

Mae Davis

7 ways small businesses can benefit from mobile apps

Read more

Hi Jennifer,Fascinating read about design-led companies!If you would like to learn more, our Design Thinking and Innovation programme mig...

Andrea Foster

How to spot a ‘design-led’ versus ‘design-fed’ company

Read more

ABC web-site not easy to use/navigate. Even getting this far in sign-on to ABC My Space was problematic - it was asking for my password,...

Vee.

How the ABC used an online community to help build a movement

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in