ServiceNow to Buy AI Chat Startup Passage AI

Passage AI’s chatbot solutions give ServiceNow an automated way to respond to customer inquiries.
Lauren MuskettJanuary 28, 2020

ServiceNow has signed an agreement to acquire Passage AI, a conversational artificial intelligence platform that lets clients build chatbots in multiple languages. The platform gives ServiceNow an automated way to respond to customer inquiries.

In a statement, ServiceNow said the acquisition will advance its goal of supporting all major languages across its Now Platform and products, including ServiceNow Virtual Agent, Service Portal, Workspaces, and emerging interfaces.

The companies did not disclose financial terms.

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“Building deep learning, conversational AI capabilities into the Now Platform will enable a work request initiated in German or a customer inquiry initiated in Japanese to be solved by Virtual Agent,” Debu Chatterjee, senior director of AI Engineering at ServiceNow, said.

Passage AI was launched in 2016. It has raised $10.3 million, according to data from Crunchbase.

ServiceNow expects to complete the acquisition by the end of the first quarter.

ServiceNow’s new chief executive officer, Bill McDermott, said yesterday that the company is focused on developing workflow and digital products for the banking and telecoms sectors, and that it will look to expand by building on its partnerships with companies like Deloitte and Accenture.

“By creating industry-specific solutions, delivered through a partner-led model, we can better address the unique challenges that companies in key vertical markets face as they look to digitally transform their businesses,” McDermott said.

Deloitte will be its “lead launch” partner for the banking industry.

McDermott announced he was stepping down from his role at the German software giant SAP after nine years as CEO. McDermott had been expected to remain with SAP to assist in its transition through the end of 2019, but ServiceNow announced he was beginning in his new role with that company in November 2019.

Last week, ServiceNow announced it had acquired Israeli startup Loom Systems. The companies did not reveal the purchase price.

The company’s stock was up more than 2% Tuesday. It is set to announce its earnings on Wednesday.