Mequon-based startup Intelligent Digital Avatars Inc. today acquired CodeBaby Corp., a Colorado virtual assistant developer, in a stock transaction, and the companies have raised $2 million in operating capital.
CodeBaby's investors raised $700,000, while iDAvatars was working to raise a $1.3 million fund to help finance the deal, according to a May SEC filing.
iDAvatars develops the avatars for use in the health care space. The avatars, which are built on IBM’s Watson framework, use advanced technology such as natural language processing and can demonstrate human behaviors such as empathy.
[caption id="attachment_132395" align="alignright" width="421"] iDAvatars' Sophie avatar, which boasts such human characteristics as compassion, intelligence and humor.[/caption]
The company’s intelligent digital interface, which patients can interact with online, is called Sophie. She talks to the patient, gathers information and analyzes it, then sends the report to the person’s doctor.
CodeBaby also offers avatars—3D versions for the insurance and financial sectors—as well as wizards and interactive videos, including e-learning tools. Its avatar is called Kate. CodeBaby works to drive customer engagement on the web for brands such as Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield and MetLife using an intelligent virtual assistant.
The acquisition will expand iDAvatars’ technological capabilities and its customer reach.
"We’re goning to target the provider and payer market within health care,” said Norrie Daroga, founder and chief executive officer of iDAvatars. "(CodeBaby's client network is) a good opportunity for us to be able to upsell our avatars.”
iDAvatars will continue to be headquartered in Mequon, with offices in Colorado Springs, Colorado and Edmonton, Canada. The combined firm has more than 35 full-time and 10 contract employees. iDAvatars founder and chief executive officer Norrie Daroga will continue in his role. CodeBaby CEO Dennis McGuire will serve as chief strategy officer.
“There is undeniable evidence that intelligent virtual assistants and selfservice technology is
quickly growing in demand throughout all verticals across the globe,” McGuire said. “CodeBaby has the proven data analytics and strategic business model, while iDAvatars has unmatched advanced intellectual property. The combined resources will dominate the selfservice market and the delivery of healthcare to the patient, regardless of their location.”
“The integration of CodeBaby was a natural fit into our growth strategy,” Daroga said. “With our expertise in the health care world, we will use our advanced technology to expand on the capabilities of the CodeBaby avatars into more specialized and more acute, clinical markets. Not to mention, CodeBaby provides experience,
insight and inroads into other verticals such as financial services, law enforcement and online retail.”