Big news! Conversica raises $34 million in latest round of funding
Hello everyone, I have exciting news to share with you today.
On behalf of the whole Conversica team, I’m pleased to announce that we have raised $34 million in our latest round of funding, one of the largest investments in an AI company this year. This milestone will allow us to continue our phenomenal growth, leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) to help our customers engage and close more deals.
And speaking of customers, we’ve also just acquired our 1,000th paying customer, another significant milestone for any growing SaaS company.
There’s been a lot of interest recently in AI investments, as evidenced by this CB Insights chart illustrating recent AI funding:
Given all this activity, you might wonder, what made Conversica stand out? What made investors decide we were the smart bet to place in this growing space?
Our investors have told us there were a few key reasons:
- Vision. Conversica has a powerful vision for the future of AI-powered business conversations. We believe we can apply data science techniques to create a winning combination for companies that use Conversica: financial success for the company, happy employees who do less routine work, happy end-users who get their needs met quickly and professionally. AI-powered business conversations, when done right, will have a dramatically positive impact.
- Technology. Over the past seven years, Conversica has built a powerful conversational AI platform. We’ve used this platform to create AI Assistants that solve specific business problems for our customers, most notably our flagship AI Sales Assistant. Our patent-pending technology is rooted in deep domain expertise around Natural Language Processing, Machine Learning, Natural Language Generation and the tools and processes needed to implement them.
- Traction. We’ve gone beyond the theory and proven our capabilities in the marketplace. We’ve delivered substantial results for our customers and generated strong recurring revenue growth. We’re helping real customers make real money.
- We are empowering over 16,000 users at over 1,000 companies across more than a dozen industries including technology, automotive, higher education, finance, insurance, real estate and hospitality;
- We have sent and received over 180 million emails and SMS messages through our conversational AI platform to build one of the largest AI training data sets in sales and marketing communications; and
- Our AI achieves a 35% lead response rate, over 8X higher than typical marketing emails, via fully autonomous AI-powered conversations.
- Team. We’ve gathered a talented and experienced team of leaders who have seen this movie before and built winning machine intelligence applications and SaaS companies.
Our flagship service is the AI Sales Assistant. It tackles a ubiquitous and important problem – helping Marketing and Sales organizations grow revenue. Our virtual Sales Assistant empowers salespeople to focus on selling and closing deals instead of chasing down leads. The assistant engages prospects in natural, two-way human conversations, is always persistent, always polite, and tirelessly reaches out to every single lead, as many times and over as long a timespan as is required. It’s a win/win/win: Marketing teams see better ROI as all leads get attention, Sales teams set more meetings and close more business, and prospects have a great experience.
To learn more about how Conversica is helping customers today, watch this short video:
Our success so far is directly attributable to our amazing customers – the sales and marketing professionals, at over a thousand organizations, who have already achieved tremendous productivity enhancements by deploying our service.
Looking beyond sales, there’s no limit to the other types of routine business conversations our AI can help automate in the future.
We know that $34 million is a lot of money and represents a lot of trust in us. So we’re going to invest it in ways that will directly make our customers and us even more successful:
- We’re going to invest in our sales and marketing, to help get the word out and empower even more organizations to benefit from our service.
- We’ll continue to develop our conversational AI platform and AI Sales Assistant, expanding the ways in which we help our customers increase revenue, manage costs and improve quality.
- We will roll out additional AI assistants – looking beyond sales, we’ll automate other business conversations such as customer success management, loan processing and recruiting.
- We’re going to continue to expand our impressive number of technical integrations (we already integrate with over 47 today systems today including Salesforce and Marketo).
- We’ll be rolling out additional languages – today our service is helping businesses in many English language speaking countries, but it’s a big world out there and we’re here to help wherever we can!
This funding round is big news, for Conversica and for the entire AI industry. And I’m delighted that our investors have confirmed what our customers already know: It’s a great investment too.
Check out the latest news coverage of Conversica:
Conversica aims to automate this part of the sales task, but to do it in a natural feeling way. “You don’t see it as an AI assistant. You see it as normal interaction,” Terry said. The job of the assistant is to answer the questions it’s capable of answering, and then eventually get the contact on the phone with a person. It does this using several forms of artificial intelligence. It starts with natural language process (NLP), which allows the assistant to “read” a response…”
“Conversica has used conversational artificial intelligence to develop an assistant that it says can make sales teams more efficient. The technology works with email and SMS texting, and it can help minimize the time salespeople spend sending emails and following up with potential clients. Mr. Terry said that although there are fears about the impact artificial intelligence will have on jobs, most customers using Conversica have actually hired more salespeople because they are seeing higher closing rates.”
“We’ve gone way beyond the theoretical,” Conversica CEO Alex Terry told Fortune. In fact, he said, the sales assistant software has proven so effective for some customers that recruiters have even mistaken the software for a human and tried to make a hire. Other contacts have sent in thank-you notes and flowers, he said.
Terry believes that although the conversational AI space is seemingly getting crowded, Conversica has an edge over its competitors. “A lot of companies in the AI space had a smart data scientist who came up with a cool algorithm and now they’re trying to find a business problem that needs solving,” Terry said. “Whereas we started off as a company solving a very specific business problem. We happened to use AI, machine learning, natural language processing, and other technologies to effectively solve that problem. As we scaled, we proved that our solution works in a variety of different industries. The reason we were able to raise one of the largest Series B rounds in the AI space this year is because we solve a real business problem and have real traction and real revenue.”
“For companies that receive thousands of emails, automating the process saves a great deal of time and resources. Conversiva says that its system is used by 16,000 sales reps globally in companies that include IBM, CenturyLink, and Fiat Chrysler. The firm also offers industry-specific assistants for the automotive and financial industries, while a “Customer Success Assistant” works with existing customers.”
“The company says email engagement at its customer companies often soars up to nine-fold after the agent is installed. Of customers who respond to the automated assistant, 38 percent are successfully ushered through the sales funnel to speak to a salesperson.”