Kiwi firm Aider expands AI products across North America
- 24 July, 2019 18:09
Aider founders: Pete Weaver and Brendan Roberts
Aider has announced its entrance into the United States and Canada by simultaneously unveiling integrations with Square, Shopify, QuickBooks Online and Amazon Alexa.
Our Natural Language Understanding technology gives opportunities for SMBs to get easy, affordable access to answers from their data
The New Zealand-born artificial intelligence (AI) software company provides small business (SMB) owners with a central source from which to access their data from different applications used to run their companies.
Brendan Roberts, Aider founder and CEO, announced the group’s foray into the North American market at VOICE 19, the world’s largest voice technology gathering, held this week in Newark, New Jersey.
Roberts and Pete Weaver co-founded Aider in 2017. The group’s founding team includes its chairman, Avi Golan, former chief digital officer at Air New Zealand and currently an operating partner at SoftBank Group based in Silicon Valley.
At VOICE 19, Roberts noted how voice technology and digital assistants can now cater to SMBs with technology typically reserved for high-end consumer and enterprise environments.
“We believe in human-centric AI and created Aider to give hardworking business owners easy access to the information they need to make daily, data-led decisions,” said Roberts.
“North America is the next destination on Aider’s strategic growth roadmap and with the help of our new partners, we will deliver AI-powered assistance to help thousands of underserved American and Canadian small businesses address specific pain points and improve customer experience.”
Aider has received significant exposure lately following high profile announcements including being selected for Mastercard’s Elite Start Path programme, a collaboration with Westpac, and a partnership with Paymark.
Key industries it is targeting include financial, retail, ecommerce and hospitality.
Aider cited figures from the US Small Business Administration that only half of all establishments make it to the five-year mark, and only one third make it to 10 years.
Aider said it wants to help change the dire reality of small business survival in the US and Canada by providing better access to critical, up-to-date data utilising advanced AI and voice technology.
For small business owners, Aider, accompanied by a voice assistant, allows them to have conversations with their businesses and harness the critical information needed to make smart decisions.
Using Aider’s mobile app, questions are asked by typing, voice-to-text or speaking through a voice assistant, like Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant.
Aider said it can also schedule notifications and will deliver proactive trends analysis and benchmarking customised to the user’s business.
“Cash flow, time management and tedious administrative tasks are big problems for SMBs,” said Roberts. “Aider allows users to take immediate, direct action to improve their business.
“Our NLU (Natural Language Understanding) technology gives opportunities for SMBs to get easy, affordable access to answers from their data.”
Melissa Macfarlane, owner of The Store in Kaikoura, said having AI technology in the form of a digital assistant really helps to simplify the business and makes it less overwhelming.
“Aider allows you to interact with your business on your terms. I now think an integrator like Aider is crucial to create value out of the volumes of data a business creates.”
“It only takes one notification and you think maybe there is more to this data than I previously thought; maybe I should be looking at this more closely,” she added. "The increased productivity that can be had from using data better is really tangible.”
“Aider will tell me straight away: ‘This product is selling well today,’ or ‘you should order more of this stock,’" said Benny Castle, founder, creative director and designer at WORLD. "Which means I don’t have to spend three hours doing my own reports and looking over data.”
“As part of a small business, you can also become emotionally attached to your products,” said Castle.
“I had designed a dress that I felt very much attached to, but after marketing it on Instagram and having it in stores, it just didn’t sell as well as others. Aider was able to look at the sales figures without an emotional response and tell us it’s not selling well and to take action on that.”
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