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Pealo, a Singapore-based consulting agency released a chatbot known as Bobbi on Facebook Messenger. According to the agency, Bobbi will help all Singaporean SMEs to know about funding and grants. Let’s find out if the chatbot can match and surpass our expectations!
Since Bobbi is a Facebook Messenger based chatbot, you need to activate it before you can start using it. To activate the chatbot, all you need to do is select “Get started” in the chatbox. Upon activation, the chatbot will give you a brief description of itself. The chatbot will tell you that it will help you out with funding and grants. It is important to note that everything you find out from the chatbot is just a suggestion. Just because the chatbot says you can get up to ‘x’ amount doesn’t mean that the Singapore government will qualify your startup or SME. If you belong to the SME or startup category, you will find this chatbot extremely useful.
After introducing itself, the chatbot will ask you to pick from the following options:
- Finance matters
- HR/Staff related
- Marketing needs
- Lack of knowledge
To select any one of these options, you can enter the number associated with it. At the same time, if you type it out, the chatbot will proceed to the next step. Let’s say that you selected ‘Finance matters.’ Under this option, the chatbot asks you to select from the following:
- Raise capital for my startup
- Take a loan
- Raise funds by giving equity
- Manage my finances better
Depending on what you select, the chatbot will show you relevant information. Let’s say you select ‘Raise capital for my startup.’ The chatbot will then inquire if you would like to know about grants in other areas of the business. If yes, the chatbot will ask you to pick from the above choices. If you say no, the chatbot will give you detailed description. Since you are interested only in raising capital for your startup, the chatbot will tell you that you can get up to $250,000 from Tax Exemption Scheme and Ace Startup Grant. If you want to know more about this subject, you can leave your contact details with the chatbot so that someone from Pealo can get in touch with you.
After every interaction with the chatbot, it will ask you to rate the conversation on a scale of 1 – 5. If you give the chatbot a poor rating, it will ask you to reconsider your decision. Let’s see what happens when you select ‘Take a loan.’ Before the chatbot proceeds to give you information about loan financing, it will always ask you if you want to select other topics of interest. For loan financing, the chatbot will tell you that you can get loans worth $5,550,00 from SME Working Capital Loan, Loan Insurance Scheme, Tax Exemption Scheme, and Ace Startup Grant.
For ‘Raise funds by giving equity,’ the chatbot will give you all the information you need regarding equity financing. According to the chatbot, you can take up to $4,000,000 from Business Angel Scheme and SPRING Start-up Enterprise Development Scheme. The last option ‘Make my finances better’ is about financial management. The chatbot believes that you can get grants worth $70,000 from Innovation Credit Voucher and Capability Development Grant.
Let’s find out what happens when you select ‘HR/Staff related’ from the first menu on the chatbot. If you do so, Bobbi will ask you to pick from the following:
- Enhance their skillset
- My staff to be trained
- Hiring support
- Attract talent
When you select ‘Enhance their skillset,’ the chatbot reveals that you can get loans worth $270,000 from Innovation Credit Voucher, Enterprise Training Support, and Capability Development Grant. In ‘My staff to be trained,’ you can get skills training loans worth $602,000 from Productivity Innovation Credit and Critical Infocomm Technology Resource Programme Plus. Similarly, the chatbot will give you information regarding grants and loans for a variety of topics. You can navigate to the menu of the chatbot by using specific commands such as help, bye, start, and OTHERS. To know about these commands, you have to type ‘help.’ If you ever get lost in conversation with the chatbot, you can go back to the main menu by typing ‘start.’
Overall, Bobbi is a good chatbot that can help you get information regarding loans and grants in Singapore. The chatbot is quick and responsive on Facebook Messenger. One point to note is that even though the chatbot uses AI, it cannot follow the conversation if you don’t use the keywords. As a result of this, the only way to communicate with the chatbot is by using the exact keywords. The chatbot has a set of commands that help you navigate through its conversations.
If you wish to give this chatbot a shot, head to Facebook Messenger and message Pealo!
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