Customer-Service App Firm Helpshift Inc., a start-up that makes customer support software for mobile apps, on Tuesday said it has raised $23 million in Series B funding from Microsoft Ventures, Salesforce Ventures and existing investors Intel Capital, Nexus Venture Partners, True Ventures and Visionnaire Ventures.
The firm had earlier raised $13 million from Intel Capital, Nexus Venture Partners, True Ventures and Visionnaire Ventures. Helpshift was started in 2012 in Pune, and is now headquartered in California, USA.
Typically, customer support involves users e-mailing companies about their queries or looking up FAQ pages on websites. With Helpshift all this is provided within mobile apps, where most people are spending their time, so that users looking for information can quickly find it, and makes talking to a customer support professional easier as well.
“This year, we want to help customers receive support even before they reach out to agents. We have data on their usage patterns that helps us identify when a user might need help so that companies can be proactive,” said Abinash Tripathy, chief executive officer, Helpshift.
Helpshift, which operates on a software-as-a-service model, also enables companies to identify their most heavy users, those that significantly spend on their apps, and target them with better support and offers.
The company says its software is currently installed on 1.3 billion devices and works with customers such as VirginMedia, Microsoft
, WesternUnion, Flipboard, Shyp, Luxe and WordPress. A big part of its clients list are gaming companies—with thousands of users. They include Supercell, the makers of Clash of Clans, and Zynga.
“The fact that companies like Microsoft use our software, which carries Helpshift branding no matter what, is vindication of the strong product we have. We continue to concentrate on winning large enterprise clients, we’re not focused on the long-tail customers,” said Tripathy.
Only about 7% of Helpshift’s business comes from India, with the US and Europe accounting for a bulk of the rest. Helpshift has its entire engineering team of about 60 engineers based in Pune, while 33 marketing and sales professionals work out of the US and UK.
It competes with companies such as Freshdesk in India, and Desk.com and Zendesk globally. However, a majority of the clients for Freshdesk, which has raised about $95 million from venture capital firms Accel Partners, Google Capital and Tiger Global Management LLC, are small and medium businesses.
“Helpshift has been a great partner for Microsoft and our investment today represents our confidence in their messaging-based approach to customer service, as we hold a shared value of providing the seamless experience customers want,” said Nagraj Kashyap, corporate vice president, Microsoft Ventures
, in a statement.
Kashyap announced in a 30 May blog post that Microsoft was launching a venture arm for early stage investments in start-ups focused on cloud-computing technologies and transitioning to the cloud.
, Microsoft Ventures
, Salesforce Ventures
, Intel Capital
, Nexus Venture Partners
, True Ventures