Facebook acquired Servicefriend, getting ready for Libra Support
Facebook acquired Israel-based hybrid chatbot startup, built bots-chat clients for messaging apps based on artificial intelligence - to build customer service bots for its planned digital wallet Calibra. Servicefriend was launched in 2015 by co-founders Ido Arad and Shahar Ben Ami to offer customer service using hybrid artificial intelligence (AI) bots.
Facebook’s acquisition of Servicefriend is expected to help the social media giant roll out its cryptocurrency Libra in 2020. Startup Servicefriend builds bots to facilitate customer service using AI messaging apps. Calibra promises 24-7 support in WhatsApp and Messenger for its users.
The news was first reported in Israel. “We acquire smaller tech companies from time to time. We don’t always discuss our plans,” a Facebook spokesperson said.
Their jobs at the social network started this month, meaning this acquisition closed in recent weeks. (Several others indicate that they are still at Servicefriend. Although Facebook isn’t specifying what they will be working on, the most obvious area will be in building a bot - or more likely, a network of bots - for the customer service layer for the Calibra digital wallet that Facebook is developing.
Facebook’s plan is to build a range of financial services for people to use Calibra to pay out and receive Libra - for example, to send money to contacts, pay bills, top up their phones, buy things and more. It remains to be seen just how much people will trust Facebook as a provider of all these. So that is where having “human” and accessible customer service experience will be essential.
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