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Observe.AI Accelerates Hiring and Enters a New Era with $26M Funding Round

Lindsey Plocek
December 9, 2019

Today, the embargo was lifted and our two offices were buzzing with excitement. We could finally tell the world that we’d raised $26M in Series A funding.

The round was led by Scale Venture Partners with participation from Steadview Capital, 01 Advisors, and our existing investors, Nexus Venture Partners and Emergent Ventures. This brings us to a total of 34M in funds raised since Observe.AI was founded in August 2017 to transform the 300B Voice Customer Service market with AI.

Thanks to our incredible team, partners, and customers, we’ve seen rapid growth. In just nine months, we’ve expanded our team from 5 to 45 with offices in both San Francisco and Bangalore. During this time we brought on more than 100 customers, including Tripadvisor, ClearMe, and Root Insurance, who use our Voice AI Platform to monitor quality and compliance across 100% of calls while offering data-driven coaching to agents.

We also formed multi-year relationships with companies like Talkdesk, ERCBPO, itelBPO, and Microsoft, who’ve played a major role in bringing our message to the market that agents are a brand’s best representatives. Together we believe that when well-coached, agents provide a rare opportunity to emotionally connect with customers in a digital world. 


How a Home Office in Bangalore and Trip to Manila Turned into a Journey to Disrupt a 300B Market

We’re confident that we’ve built one of the most diverse teams in the Bay Area. That’s in big thanks to the trip around the globe that led us down this path of transforming voice customer service.

It’s hard to believe that just two years ago, we were a team of five engineers in a home office in Bangalore with an intern sleeping on the couch. The fact that today we analyze more than 250,000 calls each day and enable thousands of voice customer service agents across seven countries to provide better customer experiences is nothing short of mind-blowing. We are grateful for the momentum and thrilled to introduce new ways to elevate agents’ performance with AI in 2020.

A lot has changed since 2017 when we had a hunch that advancements in Speech, Natural Language Processing, and Artificial Intelligence were opening up new opportunities across every industry and vertical. Yet it wasn’t until our founders took a trip to Manila, Philippines when they realized we would use these technologies to transform the way work is done by the world’s 100M agents. 

Our CEO Swapnil Jain always emphasizes the importance of this trip during our onboarding process. 

“We went to Manila to see some of the world’s biggest Contact Centers in action. During our trip, we were shocked to see how inefficient agents were working because of outdated processes and technologies,” said Swapnil.

That’s because Contact Centers typically quality check just 1-2% of their total calls. That means agents, who take an average of 1000 calls per month, only receive feedback on 2-4 of those calls each month that are often randomly selected.

“In the Philippines, we saw that many teams were using multiple systems and spreadsheets just to quality check a single call,” Swapnil added. “At a time when 1 out of every 2 customers goes unsatisfied with their experience, we knew there was a massive opportunity to make life better for both Contact Center employees and their customers.”

What to Expect Next from Observe.AI

So what can we expect next at Observe.AI? In short, a lot! Here are just a few of the highlights.

Doubling Our Team and a New Dallas Office

We’re currently in the process of doubling our team, bolstering Sales, Marketing, and Customer Success. We are set to open a new office in Dallas, Texas in January.

These decisions are in line with our belief that the fastest way to scale our business is by meeting our customers where they are in their AI journey and by providing world-class Customer Support.

The nature of our product helps Contact Centers start small and go live incredibly quickly - two challenges that have prevented businesses from deriving value from Speech and Natural Language Processing technologies in the past. In fact, our customers can go live in just two weeks, and our Talkdesk partnership offers single-click integration. 

Today, every Observe.AI customer gets onsite onboarding and ongoing training. We’re dedicated to helping people get even more value out of our Platform. Expect to see new educational content around best practices, webinars, and workshops on improving agent performance. We’ll also continue to honor our promise of 80% of greater transcription accuracy in our SLA -- the highest possible transcription accuracy available to Contact Centers.

Product Enhancements to Score and Coach Agents with AI

Our mission is to make every agent a brand’s best representative, so we’re working hard to enhance our product by adding features that will go far beyond traditional speech analytics. 

In the near-term, you can expect advancements to our agent scorecards, as well as new data visualizations and reports to manage agent performance. 

In late 2020, we will offer more opportunities to augment agents with AI live on calls by offering them the insights they need to deliver the best possible Customer Experience.

Company Culture: Delicious Dosas and Trips Around the Globe

We’ll also continue to invest in our company culture. We’ve found that one of the most successful ways to maintain a homogenous culture across two offices is to send nearly every member of our team on a “field trip” to the other side of the world. 

Each month two members of our India team spend the month working here in our U.S. office. Likewise, every member of our U.S. team spends a week in Bangalore during onboarding. 

If you join us here in our San Francisco office or new Dallas office, get ready to enjoy some delicious Dosas - one of our favorite foods to try in Bangalore, which is considered the “Silicon Valley of India.”

Continued Commitment to Our Values 

Most importantly, we’ll continue to live and breathe our values here at Observe.AI, two of which are trust and transparency. We are committed to finding the best people and trusting them to do the right thing in their roles.

That’s something we will only do more of in 2020. If you’re reading this and interested in open roles, check out our careers page.

A Big Thank You to Scale Venture Partners!

From the very start, we’ve been lucky to have the support of some of the most notable investors in both the Bay Area and India. Scale Venture Partners in particular, who led our latest round, have invested in companies like Hubspot, Box, and Docusign prior.

We are particularly excited to welcome Andy Vitus of Scale to our board. Andy is an engineer at heart who builds computers on the weekend. We instantly clicked with Andy who saw both the technical and business application for what we do with Voice AI, and he will undoubtedly make a big impact on our trajectory. 

Scale also shares our passion for customer success and this alignment is another reason why we are excited to be a part of their B2B-focused portfolio. For more on Scale’s perspective, check out the video below (at the 20 minute mark).

Final Words and Looking Forward

Let’s face it, it’s tough out there for brands to meaningfully connect with their customers in a digital world and stand out. Today, 75% of businesses are competing primarily on the quality of their customer service. 

At Observe.AI, we’ve long believed that agents are the voice of top brands and that investing in elevating their performance will unlock new opportunities for brands to deepen their relationships with customers.

“It’s clear that the future for voice customer service is what we call 'human plus AI,'” said Swapnil. 
“Sometimes people just want to talk to an agent. By using AI to coach agents with voice insights, and to shortly augment those agents on live calls in 2020, we’ll empower Contact Centers to significantly up-level the customer experience. That said, we’re really just getting started.”

Ready to learn more about Observe.AI? See a demo

Interested in open roles? Apply here.

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