Customer service startup Glia announced today that it has raised $ 78 million. The funds will be used to expand departments across the company, with an emphasis on product development and strategic acquisitions.
Multimodality is fast becoming the norm in the $ 350 billion customer service industry. According to a study by Vonage company NewVoiceMedia published last year, three-quarters of customers prefer having their inquiries handled by a live agent, while the remaining 25% prefer chatbots and other self-service alternatives. According to a recent survey by Ernst & Young, more than 85% of banks have digital investments as a top priority with the aim of increasing customer loyalty.
Glia, a New York-based startup co-founded in 2012 by Justin DiPietro, Carlos Paniagua, and current CEO Dan Michaeli, wants to capitalize on the trend with an omnichannel customer service platform that supports text, phone calls, video chat, and more.
Glia compares customers to support agents by combining video with messaging and voice. The company claims its chatbot framework, the AI Management Platform, is a key differentiator. It integrates and tracks bots supported by IBM’s Watson, Amazon Lex, Google’s Dialogflow, and other natural dialog backends that managers can divide into teams.
Customers who choose to use human assistance can join live sessions through Glia where staff offer product tours and answer questions verbally or via text. The people who dial in are given a unique ID that Glia uses to intelligently forward them to the person they last spoke to.
Regardless of which medium customers choose in Glia, agents can use the CoBrowsing tool to guide people through apps and websites with a virtual mouse pointer. The company claims that this option, along with the rest of its suite, has allowed some customers to reduce issues 20% faster and average turnaround time by 18%.
It’s been a busy year for Glia due to the pandemic that prompted financial institutions to reconfigure systems and duplicate digital solutions for customer loyalty. The company grew its annual recurring revenue 150% this year and now serves over 150 financial institutions, insurance companies and fintech providers including Deutsche Bank, BNP Paribas, United Healthcare and Berkshire Hathaway.
“The events of 2020 have forced companies to rethink their leadership and loyalty in a digital world,” Michaeli told VentureBeat via email. “With companies temporarily ceasing to be present, customers will still need assistance turning to online alternatives. In fact, this virtual shift is creating an even greater need for customer service and support as it is the first time many consumers who have never done business online are forced to do so. Many of our customers are glad they can configure Glia to provide business continuity for displaced service agents and virtual contact center agents. “
In September 2019, Glia, with around 100 employees in the US and Europe, acquired Gigzolo, a startup that develops recommendation algorithms and a platform that makes it easier for marketing professionals to conduct online transactions with more than 16,000 event service providers. More recently, Glia has entered into a strategic partnership with LitLingo to allow the former’s customers to use the latter’s out-of-the-box AI models to monitor inbound and outbound communications between support staff and financial customers.
Insight Partners led Glia’s Series C, announced today, in which Cooley LLP participated. After a Series B round in March 2019 worth $ 20 million, the company’s total has grown to $ 107 million.
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