Talkdesk, a call center automation platform, raises $230M

Companies may use Talkdesk to handle and route client requests via text, email, and social media, with services such as virtual agents and analytics.

Main Highlights

Talkdesk, a provider of business contact center platforms, said today that it has received $230 million at a post-money valuation of $10 billion. Whale Rock Capital Management, TI Platform Management, Alpha Square Group, Amity Ventures, Franklin Templeton, Top Tier Capital Partners, Viking Global Investors, and Willoughby Capital led the round, bringing the company’s total funding to $498 million.

Businesses have increasingly resorted to cloud-based contact centers in recent years to meet emerging customer service issues. Because of the epidemic, service conveniences were put in place, giving customers more alternatives for engaging with businesses. According to Canam Research, 78 percent of contact centers in the United States want to use AI over the next three years. According to The Harris Poll, 46 percent of consumer contacts are now automated, with the figure predicted to rise to 59 percent by 2023.

Talkdesk’s contact center solution competes with products from Amazon, Google, Cisco, Aircall, Uject, and others, including Five9 (recently purchased by Zoom). The platform allows companies and customers to interact via service channels. Companies may use Talkdesk to handle and route client requests via text, email, and social media, with services such as virtual agents and analytics, as well as capabilities for customizing across workspaces, routing, reporting, and connectors.

“Over the previous two years, Talkdesk has launched more than 30 new product improvements. We intend to disrupt the contact center business and automate 80% of consumer interactions [by 2023]. In addition, we are decreasing the barrier to AI adoption in the contact center. We presently have 1,000 engineers working on solutions, and we invest 50% of our money in R&D,” CEO Tiago Paiva said. “The additional financing will assist increasing [our] worldwide footprint, leading with industry-first customer experience product innovations [and] white-glove customer service,” the company said.

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Talkdesk Injecting AI

Talkdesk, headquartered in San Francisco, California, was started in 2011 in Portugal by Paiva and Cristina Fonseca, a co-founder of the e-commerce company Bouncely. The company provides AI Trainer, a human-in-the-loop AI model training tool that assists businesses in implementing, maintaining, and customizing automation systems. Talkdesk also offers industry-specific products such as Digital Lending and Vacation Now, which use AI to expedite the lending lifecycle for personal, mortgage, and commercial loans and assist businesses in preparing contact centers to handle expected surges in demand.

Paiva cites a Talkdesk study of customer experience experts done in early 2021, which discovered that an overwhelming majority (89 percent) believe in the necessity of utilizing AI in the contact center. Another 82 percent believe that AI is becoming increasingly important for company success. However, just 14% regarded their companies’ use of AI to be “transformational.”

“By integrating all customer experience apps and data on a single screen and allowing companies to design interfaces for every job in the contact center, Talkdesk allows customization, personalization, and extensibility,” Paiva added. “In the early weeks of the epidemic, understandably, business continuity was a key motivation. Today, many organizations consider cloud contact centers as essential to achieving customer expectations, not simply running the business.”

According to Paiva, Talkdesk has acquired “substantial” momentum in the previous two years as it has grown its ecosystem of resellers and cloud distributors and entered regions such as Australia, Brazil, Canada, and France. Talkdesk now has over 1,800 customers, including Petco, Lemonade, and Sysco, and intends to expand its staff from 1,800 to about 2,200 by 2022.

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