Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Founded in 2017, Redwood City, California-based Airkit was created by Adam Evans and Stephen Ehikian, who sold a previous big data startup called RelateIQ to Salesforce for $390 million in 2014.
In its original guise, Airkit was a self-serve customer engagement platform that allowed businesses to integrate data silos and help with use cases such as onboarding new users. But last month, the company relaunched as Airkit.ai and launched its first out-of-the-box integrated product, a GPT-4-based platform that allows companies such as OpenTable and ShipBob to build specialized customer service chatbots that can deal with queries around order status, refunds, product information and more.
Airkit.ai’s connection with Salesforce doesn’t stop at the founders’ previous startup. The duo launched their new company in 2020 with $28 million in funding from investors including Accel and Salesforce Ventures, which also invested in follow-on rounds, taking Airkit.ai’s total funding to $68 million in its six-year history.
And then last year, Airkit also landed on Salesforce’s enterprise cloud marketplace, AppExchange.
The hype spurred by ChatGPT and the broader generative AI movement is palpable, with investors falling over themselves to back the next big thing. Thus, a generative AI startup with such strong connections to Salesforce already was always going to be an attractive proposition, particularly given that Salesforce had recently pledged to invest $500 million in generative AI startups.
When the deal closes, expected by January, 2024, Salesforce says that Airkit.ai will be merged into its customer service platform Service Cloud, with Evans continuing to lead the business.