Redwood City, California-based customer experience platform provider Squelch today announced that it’s raised an additional $12 million in funding led by Shasta Ventures, with participation from existing investor Correlation Ventures and new investor Tenaya Capital. It’s an extension of the $8 million series A it completed in May 2018, and brings its total raised to $20 million, according to Crunchbase.
CEO and cofounder Jayaram Bhat — who founded Squelch in 2015 with former Apple senior college campus representative Giorgina Gottlieb, with whom he shared an interest in wine (the two initially pursued a wine analytics product) — said the capital infusion will drive an expansion of its sales and marketing teams.
“Squelch has empowered thousands of customer support and success agents — maximizing productivity, personalizing every interaction, and enhancing both customer and agent satisfaction,” Bhat said. “We aim to reach more of these professionals so that they, too, can deliver an unmatched customer experience. For many organizations today, customer experience is the foundation of their business strategy, and Squelch is critical to delivering on that strategy.”
Squelch’s software-as-a-service (SaaS) suite acts as the connective glue among enterprise apps and services from Salesforce, Zendesk, Slack, Box, Confluence, Jira, OneDrive, and Google Drive. It integrates with these and indexes their data — things like bug logs, case archives, and repositories — with natural language processing systems and the open source Elasticsearch analytics engine, which get fed into machine learning algorithms for feature extraction. From the ingested content, filenames, and metadata, Squelch autonomously learns the relationships among documents, which it delivers in the form of both relevant snippets and links to source files. (Within Salesforce and Zendesk, it optionally includes additional information from open cases and tickets.)
Bhat says Squelch’s AI self-improves by capturing user signals, and that its nuanced understanding of context enables it to perform complex tasks autonomously, like collapsing similar search results. As the underlying algorithms chug along, Squelch’s dashboards update metrics for individual agents, teams, and overall Squelch performance, like the amount of data indexed per day and article visibility.
There’s no shortage of SaaS products that promise to unify customer service workflows with AI. DigitalGenius integrates with existing service software suites sold by Salesforce, Zendesk, and Oracle to automate repetitive chores algorithmically. Meya.ai offers chatbot-based self-servicing tools, as does Botmind.
But in contrast to some of its competitors, Squelch positions itself as a complement to human employees instead of a replacement for them. (Bhat cites a Walker study that found that 86 percent of buyers will pay more for a product if they receive a better customer experience.) It’s an appealing prospect, evidently — in the 11 months since Squelch launched, it’s attracted customers including Khoros, Arxan Technologies, Thycotic, and Instana.
“At Shasta, we’re honored to back repeat entrepreneurs like Jayaram,” Shasta Ventures managing director Ravi Mohan said. “Squelch’s leadership team puts customer experience first, and their solution leverages powerful machine learning and robust integrations to allow better and more fruitful interactions between companies and their customers. We’re thrilled to congratulate the team on their success and look forward to seeing how they continue to elevate the customer experience.”