Zurich Insurance Group agreed to acquire Estonia-based company AlphaChat, which provides conversational artificial intelligence (AI) technology for customer service automation, to further enhance the group’s digital capabilities.

Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.

AlphaChat is one of the most advanced start-ups in conversational AI, with a team of seasoned entrepreneurs and machine learning specialists, said Zurich in a statement.

Founded in 2017, AlphaChat has built a messaging automation product capable of understanding natural language, authenticating users, providing personalized responses and executing transactions, making communication with customers seamless.

The acquisition of AlphaChat will considerably strengthen Zurich’s conversational AI capabilities and help the group create a consistent and efficient approach to developing intelligent virtual assistants” across businesses, for both internal and external purposes, added Zurich.

Technology is playing a critical role in advancing its customer-focused strategy by differentiating the offering, improving the customer experience, and streamlining interactions, said Zurich, noting that conversational AI is central to meeting increasing demand from customers for personalized products and services that are available around the clock.

“We have spent decades to learn how to communicate with computers through different programming languages. Now it is time for computers to learn how to have a personal conversation with all of us,” said Ericson Chan, Zurich’s group chief information and digital officer.

“Natural language processing is key to further enhance customer experience, complementing human interaction in the most natural way. We are very pleased to have AlphaChat join Zurich to help us further advance our digital transformation,” Chan added.

Indrek Vainu, CEO of AlphaChat, commented: “Customer communications is increasingly moving to digital messaging channels. We are excited to join Zurich on their digital transformation journey. Building on our first-class team and on the strength of our product Zurich is launching an Intelligent Automation Center of Excellence in Estonia where we focus on creating AI-powered messaging automation solutions for Zurich customers globally.

Source: Zurich Insurance

*This story ran previously in our sister publication Insurance Journal.