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Sterling Paper acquires Philippines AI powered Chatbot startup ChatbotPH
Sterling Paper Group, one of the largest conglomerates in the Philippines, has acquired ChatbotPH, the country's first artificial intelligence-powered chatbot startup, for an undisclosed amount. In a statement, Sterling Paper Group of Companies chairman Henry Lim Bon Liong said ChatbotPH is the third tech acquisition the group has made in the past six months. "We believe that Chatbot.ph is really the future of how technology can further enhance and improve customer service of businesses and also allow easier and faster access of information to users." ChatbotPH, founded in 2017 by Ron Baetiong, JC Velasquez, and Stephen Ku, offers custom-built, AI-powered virtual assistants or chatbots, serving organizations in the nightlife, banking, and retail industries. The startup's services include bot creation, chatbot maintenance, and bot training for staff. ChatbotPH said 80 per cent of businesses want chatbots by 2020 while 67 per cent believe chatbots will outperform mobile apps in the next five years. With the acquisition, ChatbotPH said it will have more resources to create more chatbot products that will serve not just companies "but the nation as a whole". "This acquisition by Sterling allows us to double down on the momentum that we have built on 2017 and scale our operations in order to help more businesses utilize the power of chatbots and AI," says ChatbotPH co-founder and CEO Ron Baetiong. Sterling Paper started as a maker of photo albums and stationeries. It has since evolved into a conglomerate with businesses ranging from school and office supplies to real estate and agri-business.