ATLANTA — A fledgling, artificial intelligence (AI) startup founded by two Duke University grads, has landed early-stage round funding.

Toucan AI – started by North Carolina natives and Duke grads Arjun Devarajan and Vishnu Menon – has raised an undisclosed sum from a number of sources. They include Seraph Group, Play Fund, Southern Connection Ventures, and a syndicate of angel investors.

The cash injection will, no doubt, boost its efforts in building “a platform that allows e-commerce companies to instantly create an AI salesperson.”

“We’re using cutting-edge deep learning research and techniques to create this out-of-the-box solution that companies can use to set up their AI sales agent,” Devarajan told WRAL TechWire.

“The AI can answer customer questions about different products and gives recommendations based on preferences that customers express. ”

He added the firm has taken a different path to other “chat” platforms that rely heavily on coding “pre-scripts” (already formulated question-and-answer pairs  for the chatbot to use in conversation).

“We wanted to create a system that’s instantaneous for companies and flexible/dynamic for end consumers’ needs,” Devarajan explained. “By engaging with end consumers and helping guide them to the perfect product in a responsive manner, we’re able to decrease website bounce rates and increase sales conversions.”

Devarajan and Vishnu Menon started Toucan after graduating from Duke University together, but have recently relocated to the Georgia Tech’s incubator in Midtown Atlanta, the Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC), to help them recruit machine-learning engineers.

Toucan AI previously graduated from the Play Labs accelerator at MIT.