Customer Service AI Startup NLX Raises $5M
Conversational AI for customer service startup NLX has raised $5 million in a seed round led by Aquila Capital Partners with Flying Fish Partners, Sage Venture Partners and JetBlue Technology Ventures. The multimodal service offers companies chatbots and voice assistants to interact with customers online and by phone.
NLX claims its tools can automate up to 70% of all inquiries raised by customers. This takes much of the load off of human agents and makes it possible to respond to customers outside of normal business hours. NLX is best known for its Voice Compass service that vocally takes customers through information searches and transactions online. The startup counts businesses in hospitality, travel, banking, and insurance as clients, helping their customers change passwords, book travel, and plan hotel stays. The new funding will go toward developing more features and scaling the company up to accommodate more and larger client firms.
“We’re on the precipice of doubling our company in customers, revenue, and people. Our recent raise will help us achieve that growth, optimize our product offerings, hire more smart, talented people, and further drive customer success,” NLX CEO Andrei Papancea explained in a blog post. “Using our products, clients have been able to automate 60-70% of all incoming inquires, reducing strain on support staff so they can focus on solving more challenging questions that go beyond AI’s current capability.”
Conversational AI has rapidly become a standard element for contact centers and customer service providers. The COVID-19 pandemic led to a boom in calls and reduced human staffing, so companies with the technology to help are showered in contracts and funding like the $70 million raised by Kore.ai, the $78.15 million raised by Yellow, Rasa’s $26 million round, and the $100 million raised by Gupshup, among many others. Though NLX’s raise seems small in comparison, the accelerating demand for its services, boosted by the pandemic, gives it a clear shot at carving out a piece of the market.
“The pandemic compounded these existing challenges, creating a clear need: Businesses needed a better way to efficiently and effectively address customer inquiries – whenever and however – without hiring more staff,” Papancea wrote. “Our product offering received so much interest last year, that we needed to very quickly hire more smart, talented people to be able to continue growing the business.”