Tech and eCommerce company Crowd Media (ASX: CM8) is forging ahead with their vision of conversational commerce by securing equity in a vital tech partner that develops visual projections which, when coupled with Crowd’s artificial intelligence, can deliver the ‘Holy Grail’ of influencer marketing.
The $365k investment in Forever Holdings will give Crowd Media 8% equity while significantly strengthening the partnership that will accelerate Crowd’s strategy to create a ‘talking head’ powered by artificial intelligence.
“By linking Crowd’s existing Q&A Chatbot technology with the voice and visual technology of Forever Holdings, we will create an entertaining “conversational commerce” experience between consumer and influencer,” said Crowd Media Chairman, Steven Schapera.
“Soon, Facetiming with Lewis Hamilton, or learning about the Battle of Trafalgar by Facetiming with Napoleon will indeed become an experiential reality. The commercial opportunity is tectonic.”
The Forever Holding tech is currently in use at the Holocaust Museum in Germany where students can ask questions to survivors and key historical figures who respond in real-time.
At an investor briefing on Wednesday, Schapera commented that Crowd’s intention is to commercialise this technology on a global scale where it will be the ‘Holy Grail’ of influencer marketing. In particular, it will enable celebrities who do not have time to respond to hundreds of messages they get from fans daily, to have 1-on-1 personalised conversations.
Schapera, the Founder of BECCA Cosmetics, described a scenario where F1 fans could have a 1-on-1 Facetime conversation with Lewis Hamilton and chat with him about his controversial performance in last week’s Italian Grand Prix. At the end of the chat, Hamilton’s projection could offer 1 of 50 signed t-shirts where the fan just needs to swipe up to pay and Hamilton would organise for one to be posted to them.
Prior to his arrival at Crowd Media, it was this specific application of Crowd’s chatbot technology that Schapera identified as a game-changing opportunity, leading a consortium to invest $2.7 million in 2019.
Since his appointment as Chairman, Crowd has been building a stable of high-margin consumer products that are sold online and targeted at millennials, which include beauty and homeware products.
“We are excited to have executed this deal with Forever Holdings. It takes us closer to our stated goal of actually changing the way products and services are sold via digital influencers. We believe conversational commerce is the future of eCommerce,” said Crowd Media CEO, Domenic Carosa.
Although Crowd’s chatbot is still under pilot testing, and without the visual projections that will be developed by Forever Holdings, the artificial intelligence powered chatbot responded to 60% of customers for the Company’s Q&A division through FY20. As per their 3 Horizons strategy introduced last year, Crowd Media has flagged 2022 for the launch of their conversational commerce AI.
Influencer Marketing is growing rapidly, with an estimated global market valued at USD $20 billion in 2020.
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