Cogito raises $20 million to grow its emotion detection AI

Cogito today announced the close of a $20 million funding round to grow its emotion detection offering that lets health care and insurance companies assess customer service satisfaction.

The $20 million round was led by New York Life Ventures, with participation from Goldman Sachs Ventures and Salesforce Ventures. A company spokesperson declined to state which investor led the round.

The new funds will be used to expand Cogito’s existing offerings to do things like provide more insights for managers and employees using the startup’s Coaching AI system, offer behavioral coaching, and create new behavior models to predict company outcomes.

In the past year, Cogito has grown its AI system capabilities to include detection of energy and empathy in customer phone calls.

Founded in 2007 with support from DARPA, Cogito began by conducting trials with veterans with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) at the Walter Reed Army Hospital near Washington D.C. and with mothers with postpartum depression at Boston’s Children Hospital.

In December 2018, Cogito launched CompanionMx, a spinoff company dedicated to delivering emotion detection to health care providers that tracks depression, bipolar disease, and anxiety. Since launch, CompanionMx has inked partnerships with Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts General Hospital, and the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs to work on detection of PTSD.

Boston-based Cogito has raised more than $90 million to date and currently has 160 employees.

In related news, Amazon’s Alexa AI team is exploring the use of emotion detection in an initiative spearheaded by chief scientist Rohit Prasad, who previously worked with Cogito at DARPA.

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