Having a personal assistant has typically been a privilege restricted to celebrities or high-earners, who can afford to shell out the money to someone willing to carry out basically their every whim. But, several months ago, we told you about German startup GoButler, which allows users to order essentially anything (legal) through nothing more than a text, and now we wish to introduce you to French rival Jam, which has found success with a similar service.
Getting started with Jam involves sending a text or message through Facebook Messenger with a particular request. Jam then uses a combination of humans and robots to respond to the user, analyze the request, and search through resources (mainly APIs) in order to complete the task. What is interesting, as I learned by speaking with CEO Marjolaine Grondin, is that they offer to assist people, within France or anywhere in the world, with various tasks, ranging from providing gift ideas to finding a local bar offering happy-hour specials to hooking them up with an internship, so long as everything is organized in French. The service is free to use, but Grondin told me that the people who carry out the tasks are paid. Jam has opted to monetize the service by charging companies a fee to help them recruit the best profiles, as well to promote their deals.
The startup, which launched in April 2015, tells me that they have attracted almost 30,000 users so far. Going forward, they are planning to continue to develop the AI in order to scale, first within France, and then abroad. Jam has declined to reveal how much funding they have, but would tell me that they have backing from angels Pierre Valade, Pierre Kosciusko Morizet and Pierre Krings from PriceMinister, Cyril Vermeulen from Au Femenin, and VC firm ISAI.