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1up emerges from stealth with $2.5M for sales AI

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One thing about sales that anyone who has worked in the business can probably attest to is that you as a salesperson spend a lot of time answering different versions of the same questions and filling out many different request-for-proposal (RFP) forms with similar information.

But with the advent of generative AI, the question becomes: how much of that often tedious and repetitive, yet dynamic and highly specialized work, be automated?

A significant portion, according to 1up. Emerging from stealth today with $2.5 million in funding from 8-Bit Capital, RRE Ventures, Alumni Venture Partners, Italmobilliare, and Aviso Ventures, the company is a New York City-based startup founded by George Avetisov, who serves as its CEO. It is coming to market with its “Knowledge Automation Platform” software designed for sales teams.

“Generative AI is often thought of as a tool for writing copy and creating images,” said Manoj Abraham, Co-founder & Head of Product at 1up, in a press statement. “At 1up, we’re interested in how this technology can be used to automate knowledge. We believe there’s a whole new level of productivity that can be unlocked by accelerating the flow of information across the enterprise.”


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How 1up’s Knowledge Automation Platform works

According to 1up’s website, “sales teams struggle with the pain of getting accurate information when they need it most” to answer customer questions, objections and fill out RFPs.

1up seeks to provide product information to sales team members through a natural language processing (NLP) conversational chatbot interface that references its customers’ data across multiple sources, including Google Drive, Box, and Confluence.

1up can provide the answers to sales team members as messages from its chatbot, which appears as another user in their collaboration apps of choice — Salesforce’s Slack and Microsoft Teams are both supported to start.

Some of the example hypothetical questions 1up says it can answer on-demand within a few seconds for sales teams include:

  • “What’s a good case study of ours I can use to close a banking customer?”
  • “Why did we lose that Fortune 500 deal to our competitor last quarter?”
  • “How do I respond if a customer asks about our SOC2 compliance?”
  • “What docs should I use to deploy our product in Kubernetes?”

Differentiation by design

Although other companies have offered AI-powered sales enablement and sales team knowledge tools, 1up seeks to differentiate itself through several key features.

A big one is the ability for users to ask multiple questions at once, unlike most large language model (LLM) applications such as OpenAI’s ChatGPT and Meta’s Llama 2, which only allow one question to be asked and answered at a time.

Support for multiple questions is what makes 1up able to help sales team members quickly fill out RFPs. Instead of going question by question or field-by-field in the RFP form and trying to cobble together all that knowledge, sales agents can now just copy/paste and send all the questions to their 1up chatbot and get the responses they need.

1up says it also uses guardrails that limit hallucinations from its generative AI-powered responses. The 1up Knowledge Automation Platform uses a company’s internal data and knowledge, then applies several LLMs atop it to fetch and retrieve relevant information in its answers to sales team questions.

“The questions flowing through 1up on a daily basis depend on sensitive internal knowledge,” reads the company’s press release. “They cannot be Googled, cannot be asked of an AI, and cannot be easily automated.”

The company did provide pricing details publicly.

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