Scottish fintech firm Aveni has secured £1.1 million to launch its ‘ground-breaking’ Aveni Detect AI tool to help support vulnerable customers across the country.
The tool uses up-to-date AI and natural language processing (NLP) tech to automate processes directly from the customer’s voice, allowing companies to “achieve greater efficiencies” in quality assurance whilst “significantly improving client experience, staff training, and the ability to identify vulnerable customers”.
Crucially for many companies, the Aveni Detect AI tool will help reduce the cost of compliance, for example by helping businesses meet the FCA’s recent guidance on the Fair Treatment of Vulnerable Customers.
To implement the changes required, it is expected to cost the financial services industry £700 million.
Commenting on the investment, Joseph Twigg, CEO of Aveni, said: “Consumer behaviour and business needs have changed significantly over the past 18 months as the service industry digitised in response to the pandemic. This created a new base of consumers comfortable with video conferencing led, digital-first services.
“It also created a major challenge for firms to monitor and assess these calls, especially as an increasing number of them were from vulnerable customers who needed additional attention.
“In the new world, AI can be adopted throughout the customer journey, driving new insight, significant efficiency gains and better protecting the vulnerable. It’s a win-win situation.
“By using AI to help automate processes like quality assurance and risk monitoring, material cost reductions can be achieved. At the same time, companies gain targeted insights on customer experience and training opportunities for customer-facing staff.”
Led by the TRICAPITAL Angel syndicate, Aveni says the investment will accelerate company growth and “see it move beyond financial services into other regulated industries,” whilst building a team to support its UK expansion.
The round was also supported by Scottish Enterprise’s Growth Investments, Old College Capital – the University of Edinburgh’s in-house venture investment fund and Wallace Equity.
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Jan Robertson, interim director of Growth Investments at Scottish Enterprise, said: “The evolution of Aveni’s game-changing products will enhance Scotland’s proud association with the development of AI solutions and strengthen the country’s growing reputation as a global leader in fintech innovation.
“Our continued investment in and support for Aveni will help the company grow and scale and underscores Scottish Enterprise’s commitment to nurturing an environment that encourages cutting-edge tech businesses to thrive and flourish.”
Moray Martin, from lead investment syndicate TRICAPITAL, said: “This is the second round of investment in Aveni that we have led on and we are delighted to continue to provide support and guidance to Joseph and the team throughout an unprecedented period.
“We knew that this cutting-edge technology had come at the perfect time to help businesses in a post-pandemic environment and that has proven to be the case. With Aveni Detect the business is taking its tech solutions to the next level.”