Today we announced the closing of $27 million Series A financing, led by Norwest Venture Partners. We’re proud to have all of our existing investors, Bloomberg Beta, Costanoa Ventures, and founding investor Atomic participate and to welcome our newest investor, State Farm Ventures.
This investment came after a few quarters of rapid growth, scaling from answering thousands of calls per month to millions in less than two quarters, following an accelerated demand for automation in customer service. During this time we doubled our team, released dozens of new features, and helped Fortune 500 customers get up and running in days, helping them to maintain their customer service operations in difficult times.
Covid-19 brought a new set of challenges and impacted every industry overnight – take e-commerce for example – customers could no longer go in-store to make purchases or interact with store reps and turned to online shopping. With e-commerce purchases doubling in volume, demands on customer service departments spiked accordingly. Add to that unpredictable agent availability caused by lockdowns and shelter in place orders, and the result was long wait times, overworked agents, and unsatisfied customers. The pandemic exposed the major shortcomings of call centers – relying on scheduling enough trained agents in physical locations to answer an often unpredictable and spiky volume of customer calls.
I knew it was time to address the bigger challenges facing customer service and fortunately, my journey in this industry started earlier on in my career. In my twenties, I ran a call center and many years later joined Talkdesk, now a $3B contact center software market leader, as their first COO. With this deep expertise and passion for customer service, the next step was clear – helping lead the innovative team at Replicant to harness the power of AI to make calling customer service as seamless as ordering an uber or making an online purchase. In contact center speak, this means delivering an effortless customer service that eliminates hold times, resolves customer issues quickly, increases operational efficiency, and improves agents’ jobs.
With this vision in mind, Replicant.ai was born – the world’s first autonomous contact center that fully resolves tier-1 customer service issues over the phone using the power of voice AI. With Replicant, companies can provide 24/7 service, eliminate hold times, and scale elastically to meet high call volumes while improving customer satisfaction and reducing costs. Beyond resolving customer issues, Replicant transcribes every word that’s spoken by customers, giving companies deeper insights into customer data. It integrates into existing call center software to authenticate callers, escalate calls with context when needed, and captures call summary notes autonomously.
We have seen incredible success with our initial customers, including some of the country’s largest call centers, and are honored by the trust they’ve placed with us. Replicant customers are reducing costs by 50%-75%, cutting average handle times in half, resolving more than 90% of calls without escalations, and improving customer satisfaction as a result of shorter and more effective calls. We recognize the responsibility of serving our Fortune 500 customers’ 24/7 operations and have invested in scalable data centers, state-of-the-art security best practices, and strict reliability and privacy certifications like SOC2 type 2, HIPAA, and PCI to achieve the highest levels of trust and security.
As we continue our journey forward, our vision for Replicant’s autonomous contact center is to become the call centers’ first line of defense so that agents can focus on what they do best – fostering relationships and championing brands. Following our latest financing round, we plan to triple our investment in R&D, grow our customer support team, and expand sales and marketing to deliver seamless customer service fueled by AI and automation. Today’s milestone is another step in our journey to transforming the future of customer service for customers, agents, and brands.
And, as more and more of our experiences become digital and move online, customer service is becoming one of the most critical interfaces between brands and their customers. Customers that can hail a ride or book a flight in a single click, want the same convenience and speed when they need help. Replicant’s technology is making what used to be science fiction not too long ago, into a reality: having a Thinking Machine answer customer calls without hold times and resolving customer issues politely and effectively in minutes. It is time to bring customer service to the twenty-first century, and Replicant is doing it now.