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Wednesday, Jul 6, 2022

Involve.ai Helps Businesses Retain Their Subscribers

For companies that rely on long-term customers, “churn” — a term that refers to the number of canceled or lapsed subscriptions — is a major challenge.
Enter Involve.ai Inc., a platform that helps subscription-based businesses retain subscribers by managing and improving their customer service.

Founded in October 2020, Involve.ai uses artificial intelligence to create risk profiles on customers. It can predict usage and sentiment toward a company’s product.

Now it’s gearing up to expand its engineering, product, customer service and artificial intelligence teams on the heels of a $16 million Series A raise closed in August.

The round, which was led by Cathy Gao, partner at Palo Alto-based Sapphire Ventures, brought the company’s funding total to $18.5 million. Other investors include Bonfire Ventures, Greycroft, LaunchCapital, Bertelsmann Digital Media Investments Inc., GTMfund, Stanford University, and private investors Gokul Rajaram and Michael Whitmire.

“Acquiring a new customer can be 25 times more expensive than selling to an existing one, so it’s no wonder that we’re seeing companies heavily invest in their customer success teams,” Gao, who joined the Involve.ai board as a part of the Series A raise, said in a statement. “These teams need tools that are purpose-built for them.”

The fresh round of funding landed as Involve.ai ramps up its headcount to meet growing demand for its technology. It started off the year with six employees and today has 42, according to Chief Executive Gaurav Bhattacharya.

Bhattacharya said he aims to have 60 employees by the end of 2021 and 100 by March 2022. In addition to working out of the company’s Santa Monica headquarters, staff work remotely from San Diego; San Francisco; Austin, Texas; India; Canada; Argentina; and Russia.

Involve.ai was able to build out its team because demand for customer-focused technology skyrocketed amid the pandemic, according to Bhattacharya.

“We found something that is extremely valuable, especially with Covid,” he said. “Now every customer is so important and valuable. With this work-from-home phenomenon, since you’re not close to your customers, how do you still deliver the best customer experience possible?”

The company’s technology aggregates emails, call notes, messages and other customer service records. That data help determine a customer’s likelihood to continue using a product or subscribing to a service.

“We have a lot of insights about customers, how they use your product and what feedback they are giving you,” Bhattacharya said. “With artificial intelligence and machine learning, this data can tell you what you should build for your customers and how you can keep them the happiest.”

Co-founders Saumya Bhatnagar and Bhattacharya created Involve.ai as an internal tool for their previous venture, an employee-volunteering platform called Glipped Inc., which did business as InvolveSoft.

After realizing Involve.ai could help other companies retain their customers, they pivoted to a customer service insights software they could sell to other businesses.

Involve.ai’s platform has grown 40% month over month since its launch, Bhattacharya said, with more than 22,000 employees using its platform across its customer base.

He said Involve.ai’s “sweet spot” for clients is businesses that have subscription-based models, particularly those offering software subscriptions.

Some of the company’s major clients include Boston-based content marketing platform SEMrush Holdings Inc.; Bellevue, Wash.-based workflow platform Nintex Global Ltd.; and Compton-based paint company Tnemec Co. Inc.

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