Prosus develops AI chatbot for its companies


Dutch eCommerce investor Prosus has developed an artificial intelligence chatbot for its portfolio of companies as tech businesses increasingly turn to emerging technology to streamline operations. 

The tool, called PlusOne, uses OpenAI software and open source data to work as a “personal assistant” for staff at more than 25 of its investments, from a Polish online tutoring company to a Brazilian food developer, the firm’s head of AI Euro Beinat said in an interview. 

With the move, Prosus and its South African parent, Naspers, are joining the global AI race, as both startups and some of the world’s biggest companies invest heavily to develop and deploy new models of the potentially transformative technology. 

PlusOne leverages the capabilities of more than ten generative AI model types and is only available to firms Prosus is invested in, according to Beinat.

He said that employees initially used the tool to fix code and save money on marketing and are increasingly developing capabilities unique to their businesses. 

Generative AI is already helping cut costs, and the company’s classifieds business OLX has cut its marketing spend by 15% since it began using PlusOne, according to Beinat.

Prosus is the largest investor in Tencent, which introduced its own ChatGPT rival for its cloud customers last week. The Prosus tool is unrelated to the Tencent tool, according to Beinat.