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Conversable chatbot will offer allergy info along with a side of Wingstop wings

TechCrunch TechCrunch 7/06/2016 John Mannes

Conversable, a conversational commerce startup seeking to bolster relationships between brands and consumers, is announcing a partnership today with Wingstop. Users will be able to order food, inquire about potential food allergens, and look for nearby locations from within apps like Facebook Messenger and Twitter.

Instead of putting APIs in front of developers, Conversable wants to power the Fortune 500 with its own core platform that can be built out to nearly limitless applications. The company is starting with Wingstop but says it has plans to change the way people shop, purchase airline tickets and interact with brands.

Co-founders Ben Lamm and Andrew Busey have worked together twice before. After finding success with technology studio Chaotic Moon and game design studio Team Chaos, the two began tinkering with the idea of using automated chatbots to improve brand accessibility.

“What I love about this is that over time companies can just keep adding new conversation trees to the core platform so that over time you can respond to more things without spending years and a fortune building out mobile apps,” said Ben Lamm, Conversable CEO. “For me as a consumer, my experience with a brand just gets better and better as I can do more.”

$2 million in seed funding has been enough to get the team of 15 people running. So far it has secured a number of enterprise-paying, domestic Fortune 500 clients. The chat solutions are subscription based with available professional services for customization.

Most of us have used bad chat bots that are unresponsive and inaccurate. Conversable wants to avoid falling into the trap by emphasizing backend systems integration. The chatbots are being marketed to improve user experiences and brand engagement all without utilizing machine learning or AI.

“While machine learning and AI are interesting, brands want to understand more context at the individual node of the question or response. They want to grab analytics and empower the business to understand what people are asking,” Lamm added.

Instead, the Texas-based company will focus on further integration with emerging platforms like Amazon Echo. We can only hope that users will be able to order authentic Texas barbecue from the convenient automated conversation buddy in the near future.

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