Australian startup Brainfish lures $3.85m for lightning fast AI chatbot


Website chatbots can be frustrating. Sydney-founded startup Brainfish is working to change that by personalising fast and effective online customer interactions.
Brainfish cofounders Daniel Kimber (CEO) and Ajain Vivek (CTO) raised $5 million in 12 months to grow their AI startup. Image: supplied by Brainfish

At just 25 years of age, Daniel Kimber already has significant startup experience under his belt.

He began working at Australian unicorn Siteminder while at UNSW studying Information Systems. Within three years, Kimber led the Siteminder merger of 36,000 customers onto a new modular platform. Leadership positions with Willow and Me&U followed.

18 months ago, Kimber partnered with Ajain Vivek, a former Siteminder colleague, and launched Brainfish – an AI software platform to optimise customer engagement.

“Brainfish is flipping self-service support on its head by helping online businesses to deflect over 80% of their support volume through instant, focused answers to their customer questions,” says Kimber.

Brainfish uses content the business already has to create a virtual product expert. Machine learning algorithms analyse customer questions and instantly provide relevant responses according to the company. Brainfish can be integrated into existing help desk software Zendesk and Intercom.

“We’ve spent a lot of our careers building functionality to help users maximise their use of software products, and in late 2022 decided to see if there was a way we could scale that approach using Generative AI and build a virtual product expert for every business, using the content they already have available,” Kimber tells Forbes Australia.

This capital is a reflection of our ability to cut through the current market noise of AI and CX solutions through a pragmatic, no-BS product – that actually works.

Daniel Kimber, Brainfish CEO and cofounder

“Brainfish’s proprietary AI search function combines a business’s knowledge with contextual understanding of the customer to deliver personalised answers instantaneously,” a company statement reads.

It is a formula gaining traction with customers in Australia, the US, and Singapore. Brainfish has also attracted international investors. The company announced it has landed an additional $3.5 million, taking the capital raised over the last 12 months to $5 million.

“This capital is a reflection of our ability to cut through the current market noise of AI and CX solutions through a pragmatic, no-BS product – that actually works,” says Kimber.

Brainfish is using its $3.5 million raise to expand to new markets and build out services. Image: supplied by Brainfish

Peak XV (formerly Sequoia India) Surge is the lead investor in the round, joined by Macdoch Ventures and Black Sheep Capital. Angel investors include Justus Hammer the CEO of MadPaws.

“I’m personally super proud to be backed again by our existing investors, and to bring on new go-to-market leaders as angels to help us leverage this capital to drive R&D development and expand further internationally.”

As for the name Brainfish, it has roots in the classic 1979 Douglas Adams science fiction novel.

“AJ and I are both huge fans of the Babel Fish from Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy and how it translates the world around you into a language you understand. Brainfish translates products into terminology that makes sense for customers, so we thought it was apt,” says Kimber.

The company is growing at an impressive clip. Monthly growth is at 65%. Brainfish currently has more than 300,000 global users – including ASX-listed Mad Paws and unicorn Airtasker.

“Customer support hasn’t changed in decades, and whilst tooling is better, people today want quick answers that are accurate and contextualised,” says Kimber. “Bad bot answers just won’t suffice anymore.”

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