Enterprise Conversational Voice AI Startup RedRoute Raises $6.5M
Customer service voice AI developer RedRoute has closed a $6.5 million seed funding round led by Bullpen Capital and ScOp Venture Capital. The voice-based conversational AI startup plans to leverage the money to bolster its platform an “Alexa-like experience” applied to the customer service market.
The conversational AI underlying RedRoute began as a service for helping people find transportation, hence the company name referencing travel. The seven-year-old startup has evolved since then to a more general customer service voice AI that companies can use as a tool to answer customer questions and connect callers to the relevant human agents should the AI not be have th capacity to handle the requests. The RedRoute platform aims at simplifying the setup process for this customer service AI while not cutting effectiveness. The system can take as little as half an hour to set up, yet ReRoute claims the automated AI handles an average of half of all incoming calls on the first day of operations. The company now counts brands like GNC, Brooklinen and Pair Eyewear as clients.
“The real underlying problem in customer service is capacity, there’s too many requests for too few reps,” RedRoute CEO Brian Schiff explained. “In a practical sense our automation tool expands the workforce by 50%, and the results are paradigm-shifting.”
Investment is flooding companies that can cater to demands enterprise conversational AI. As the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent spike in demand for customer service showed, there’s plenty of need for AI within the world of customer service. Talkmap recently raised $8 million and NLX raised $5 million in the last couple of weeks, demonstrating this exact fact. Those raises are significant but only hint at the amount of money going toward customer service AI overall. The $70 million raised by Kore.ai, the $78.15 million scored by Yellow.ai, Shelf.io’s pickup of $52.5 million, and Dialpad’s $170 million raise in December make a case for the need for smaller companies in the industry, and that’s before considering how important the technology is to Microsoft paying nearly $20 billion to acquire Nuance, one of the biggest company purchases of the last few years.