At Bee Partners, we’ve developed a set of criteria to evaluate effective conversational commerce enterprises and identify prime seed-stage investment opportunities. Drawing on our well-established core positions in the application, “handshake,” and infrastructure layers for human-computer systems, we’ve charted trajectories over the next cycle pointing to likely wholesale adoption of conversational commerce and NLP (natural language processing) across various industries.

As frontier tech investors with deep cross-sector expertise, we’ve delineated a set of crucial intersecting trends driving innovation in commercial applications for NLP. Bee’s approach means going beyond simply getting excited by new platforms that allow users to seamlessly bypass the clutter of other apps and websites via a single “stackless” interface. Our strategy for smart investment looks deeper and more rigorously for scalable models from enterprises combining deep technical knowledge with vertical business experience.

Among the startups in which Bee has already invested is StatMuse, which offers responses to fans’ questions in sports celebrities’ own voices. Another is SnapTravel, which has revolutionized online hotel booking by removing the need for consumers to scroll through endless, irrelevant data, giving them direct access to information that matters. What we’re increasingly noticing, however, is the need for all conversational commerce companies’ vertical depth to be matched by an effective horizontal technology that enables use across all conversational platforms (voice AND chat).  This “handshake” layer is perhaps more important than originally thought and one that will drive lasting value for founders, investors, and consumers for decades to come. Check out our SlideShare on conversational commerce here.

[slideshare id=91573954&doc=conversationalcommerce-lpmeeting032218final-180322171526]