Amir Moravej knew his life was potentially in for a change-up as he rode in the back of a taxi en route to Trudeau International Airport.
It was the fall of 2014 and Moravej’s student visa had all but run out after several years in Canada. He had been working for a startup after graduation, but he had his head down in his work so much that he never got around to applying for his permanent residency in time. The application arrived late and the Canadian government informed him he’d have to leave the country.
“It was one of the most difficult situations of my life. I had spent my formative years in Canada and I was going back to Iran, where I hadn’t been since I was a kid. I knew I just had to focus on my application, and so I started searching online for any information I could find to help the process.”
That’s when things got difficult.
Intent on making his application perfect and hungry for more information from others as to how the process typically went, he relied on disorganized and cluttered message boards for detailed information, just like so many other prospective immigrants are doing right now.
“Information gets buried under hundreds of messages when the group gets crowded in places like Telegram, WhatsApp, Facebook, Viber or any other single thread group messaging app,” Moravej told MTLinTECH.
So he did what many entrepreneurs do: he scratched his own itch, as they say. After gaining experience working as a developer for several Montreal startups, like Retinad, Relevant (then called Dashbook), nTerop and more, Moravej pulled together his own team and started building Botler.
Botler is a next generation messaging platform and communication tool that uses Artificial Intelligence to better facilitate community and group discussion in a hyper-organized, well-designed manner.
Canada is welcoming immigrants because of their skills and abilities. While the process is similar for many, it’s fraught with difficulties and roadblocks. We want to do something about this process.
-Amir Moravej, CEO, Botler.
Its signature tool is an AI-powered bot, named Botler, that helps navigate users as they tell him what they want to know.
Botler creates a dedicated group messaging space for each community, called a “Lounge,” and organizes all conversations by creating a “room” for each topic, thereby solving the disorganized ‘thread problem’. If someone asks an important question about something, Botler will help them get the best answer they need. Botler can understand conversations and become smarter as the number of conversations grow in rooms.
All four of Botler’s team members immigrated to Canada from other countries. They previously worked at Facebook, Google, and various startups. While the tool is currently in public beta, iOS and Android apps are being developed.
“This idea was born within a community of smart and highly skilled people who dream of a better life. They’re willing to take big risks, give up everything and start over,” said Moravej. “Still, so many prospective immigrants are using outdated, poorly designed messaging boards to ask and answer questions about the immigration process.”
Around 250,000 people successfully immigrate to Canada every year. As well, the number of international migrants (persons living in a country other than where they were born) reached 244 million in 2015, according to the UN. It’s safe to assume the number of those who struggled through the process, and were ultimately rejected, are far greater than Canada’s 250,000 every year.
“Canada is welcoming immigrants because of their skills and abilities. While the process is similar for many, it’s fraught with difficulties and roadblocks,” said Moravej. “We want to do something about this process and help these communities have a smoother, safer journey, where they can gain easy access to knowledge and support each other.”
Top photo by EvaBlue.com