December 2020 (New York) – RAIN, a global leader in voice and conversational AI, announced it has closed a $3 million Series A investment led by Stanley Ventures.

RAIN has years of experience building conversational AI interfaces for leading companies including Nestle, Blackrock, Marriott, Starbucks and Nike. The investment will build on this foundation to enable RAIN to create conversational AI solutions for the “deskless workforce” – whose labor powers industries like agriculture, healthcare, retail, and manufacturing – with the goals of streamlining laborious processes and increasing enterprise productivity.

“Voice AI has been making waves in consumer technology for some time now. We have long been focused on how that same technology can dramatically simplify and enhance professional workflows,” said Nithya Thadani, CEO of RAIN, “How does a worker input data while wearing gloves – or check inventory without taking their eyes off a customer? It requires purpose-built solutions that leverage the hardware and infrastructure that workers use on the job.”

The deskless workforce, whose eyes and hands are often preoccupied in daily tasks, stands to disproportionately benefit from voice-enabled, conversational tools. Despite being 80% of the global workforce, deskless workers have been woefully underserved in terms of technologies that would make their jobs easier, safer, or more productive. Today, only a fraction of the $300B that is spent on business software each year has gone to the deskless workforce, while only 1% of enterprise software funding has gone toward deskless worker solutions. As most of these essential workers cannot work from home, the pandemic has added further challenges to their safety. Gartner has estimated that by 2023, a quarter of worker interactions with software will be mediated by voice.

“We’re excited by RAIN’s vision and how their voice assistance technology can transform productivity across a wide range of industries and use cases,” said Michael Mahan, Managing Director at Stanley Ventures. “We’re thrilled to take the next step in supporting RAIN’s innovation roadmap to develop voice-based solutions for the deskless workforce.”

Contactless, voice-first solutions hold great potential in situations where hands and eyes are otherwise occupied. Voice excels at speedy information entry or retrieval, where a simple uttered sentence can accomplish a task far faster than hunting through menus and typing on keyboards. And the infrastructure is flexible – you can voice-enable an existing device, website, or mobile app.

This effort also comes on the heels of many large companies investing in custom productivity-centered voice AI solutions in retail, healthcare, commercial real estate, and more. These assistants offer companies greater control over data, functionalities, devices, and channels of distribution.

About RAIN

RAIN is an industry leader in voice and conversational AI. RAIN builds voice technology software, defines voice strategies, and designs conversational experiences. Over the last five years, RAIN has helped dozens of F500 companies build voice solutions, including Nike, Nestle, Blackrock, Marriott, Starbucks, and Headspace. RAIN serves on the advisory councils for both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.

About Stanley Ventures

STANLEY Ventures is the corporate venture arm of Stanley Black & Decker. STANLEY Ventures partners with the company’s businesses to drive innovation and push the boundaries of what’s possible through strategic investments in startups who are developing technologies that redefine industries. They are “For Those Who Make the World Innovative.”