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It’s Time to Challenge the Status Quo in Enterprise CS

Brad Birnbaum reflects on the latest CS trends in his recent Forbes column

Kustomer CEO and Co-founder Brad Birnbaum is a Forbes Contributor covering trends in the customer service industry. His column this month is a call to action for enterprise customer service leaders: prioritize strategic thinking and challenge the status quo. It’s the only way to continue offering a truly modern, delightful customer experience.

As Brad writes, “If you’re a CS leader, I believe embracing this strategic mindset shift is the best thing for your professional career, your customers, and your brand value.”

Read more in Brad’s full Forbes article here.

From Series B to Series C in 6 Months…And You Haven’t Seen Anything Yet

A note from our CEO Brad Birnbaum

It’s been an incredible few months filled with exciting activities and milestones here at Kustomer. We have much to celebrate! It’s hard to imagine we raised our Series B only six months ago, and here we are, celebrating another huge milestone – our $35 Million Series C led by Battery Ventures.

I couldn’t be more proud, and like any proud CEO – I want to give you a brief taste of our Krew’s journey this past year, including a sneak peak of what’s to come.

2018 was a terrific year for everyone here at Kustomer. I can report our Krew keeps doing what we do best – building a cutting-edge product, growing a solid team and deepening friendships with our customers. We’ve grown revenue by 500% year-over-year. 500%! That puts us as one of the fastest growing startups against industry benchmarks!

The Kustomer platform is second to none. We provide a next-generation alternative to outdated technologies. We’re a solution to an endless queue of tickets that weighs companies down and frustrates their agents and customers. We designed our platform from scratch, focusing on a first-of-its-kind data model and incorporating a single view of customer interactions in our timeline. We are the disruptor brand – focused and fierce.

And we’re being noticed.

Brands at the top of their game, logos like Glossier, Away, UNTUCKit, Ring and others, are the companies who choose Kustomer. We’re also being noticed by our competition as we quickly take their market share, offering a better alternative to legacy and decades old products. Finally, we’re being noticed by the VCs. Kustomer is fortunate to have top VCs believing in our mission to disrupt the customer management space. Adding Battery Ventures continues to level up the prestige of our investment team. We’re disrupting one of the largest growing SaaS markets in the world.

I am especially excited to have Neeraj Agrawal join the Kustomer Board of Directors. You may already know Neeraj as the originator of the T2D3 (triple, triple, double, double, double) cadence for measuring hyper-growth in startups. He’s a seasoned investor and has been supporting the momentum of great products and companies. Check out the Midas list. He’s been a member of this exclusive group for 8 consecutive years!

With the additional capital, we’re investing in growth.

2019 will be epic. There’s so much on the horizon for Kustomer and many opportunities ahead of us this year. If you haven’t noticed our new branding, check out our new website. We’re maturing as a company and I am proud of our brand’s new look and feel. We will continue accelerating our go-to-market strategy and investing in our marketing and sales organizations to reach a wider base of companies, faster.

We’re also continuing our international expansion this year. With brands like Glovo and Paddle in the EU using Kustomer every day, we feel this market is ready for us. We’re targeting more up-market companies.

The Kustomer platform will continue to add capabilities and innovations as it evolves. Our product roadmap is extensive and includes significant investment in AI and efficiency capabilities. Keep an eye for our product releases and announcements throughout the year. Exciting stuff is coming your way.

We’re doing all this for our customers. The most passionate, people-first brands, because like you, our customers always come first. That will never change; no matter what we take on in the future. Without our customers, none of our achievements would be remotely possible.

Kustomer is the first company making real Customer Friendships possible.

And we’re only getting started.

Come with us.

Brad

Kustomer Raises $35M Series C

 

Exciting news from Kustomer today! Read the full release below and follow us on social for our execs and investors’ take on the news.

Kustomer Raises $35M Series C Led by Battery Ventures, Further Challenging Salesforce and Zendesk as it Expands Into the Enterprise Market.

  • Demonstrates explosive 500% year-over-year growth.
  • Plans to accelerate product and market expansion.
  • Adds Neeraj Agrawal, General Partner at Battery Ventures, to Board of Directors.

Kustomer, the next-generation customer management platform for the people-first enterprise, announced today a $35 million Series C round led by Battery Ventures, bringing Kustomer’s total funding to $73.5 million. The investment comes just 6 months after its Series B round in June of 2018. Kustomer plans to use the capital to accelerate its go-to-market strategy, expand internationally, and invest in its platform, launching new products while cementing its position as the next-generation alternative to legacy solutions like Salesforce, Oracle and Zendesk.

Neeraj Agrawal, a general partner at Battery Ventures and a seasoned B2B software investor, joins Kustomer’s Board of Directors. Battery Ventures joins current investors Redpoint Ventures, Canaan Partners, Boldstart Ventures, Social Leverage and Cisco Investments who also participated in the round.

“From early on, leading brands in the B2C and DTC segments were attracted to Kustomer because we provide a next-generation alternative to outdated technologies and a solution to an endless queue of tickets that’s weighing companies down and frustrating their agents and customers,” said Brad Birnbaum, CEO of Kustomer. “Kustomer’s first-of-its-kind data model and one, single timeline view of customer interactions and events have differentiated us from legacy solutions and are the basis for our 500% year-over-year growth.”

Kustomer’s explosive growth has been driven by its ability to attract large companies with thousands of service agents, rising frustration from existing outdated solutions that fail to deliver on their customer experience promise, the need for business process automation to drive efficiencies, and an overall shift in approach to customer management.

“We’ve been closely following Kustomer’s impressive growth and see a large opportunity for the company to become one of the top players in this market—owing mainly to its powerful platform, experienced team and ability to execute on its vision,” said Battery’s Agrawal. “We’re excited to leverage Battery’s global network and company-scaling expertise to partner with Brad and the rest of the Kustomer team to help the company expand further into the enterprise market.”

NYC-based Kustomer is one of the fastest-growing startups in its space. The company’s growth momentum is demonstrated by the expanding list of disruptive and innovative brands – like Ring, Rent the Runway, Glovo, Glossier, Away, Slice, Sweetgreen and UNTUCKit – using Kustomer to deliver on their people-first promise everyday.

“Since switching to Kustomer from Desk.com, we’ve seen a 30-second decrease in handle time for voice interactions, a 25% overall improvement in efficiency and productivity from our team members, and a significant improvement in our FCR rate,” commented Mike Vroom, Customer Service Director at the click and brick retailer UNTUCKit. “I knew we were going to be more efficient with Kustomer, but I didn’t know HOW much more efficient. The ease of use has been really flawless, and everything our team members need is finally all in one place.”

“Kustomer has completely transformed our customer support operation here at Glovo.” Remarks Sergi Mendez, Global Head of Live Operations Support. “We are a three-sided marketplace, meaning our 2,000 agents provide support for our Glovers, merchants, and consumers. Through powerful workflows and simple integrations, our agents are able to handle over 1.8 million conversations per month across multiple channels without switching interfaces/platforms. Since switching to Kustomer, we have increased efficiency and are constantly improving live support to our users in over 20 countries across the globe.”

To keep up with growing demand, Kustomer has doubled the size of it’s workforce in 2018 and is planning on more than doubling it again in 2019. Today it is also announcing key senior leadership appointments, bolstering its leadership team capabilities as it takes on giant industry leaders and continues its growth momentum:  Amir Oren as VP of Finance (Formerly of Talkdesk, Zendesk and Dropbox), Nelly Rinot as VP of Marketing (Formerly of NICE, RRD and Radware), Alex Gadd as VP of Customer Experience (Formerly of SugarCRM and Oracle), and the promotion of Vikas Bhambri to SVP, Global Sales and Customer Experience (Formerly of Oracle, LivePerson and 8×8).

“We are fortunate to have incredible depth and breadth of talent across Kustomer’s executive team,” said Birnbaum. “As we start executing on our strategy, I strongly believe the new appointments will help us tightly integrate all functions of the company and will help pave the way to our continued success in revolutionizing the customer management, service and support space in 2019 and beyond.”

Media Contact: Stacey Dolchin, (212) 497-1188, stacey@kustomer.com

 

About Kustomer:

Customer Friendships are created with Kustomer. Our customer management platform for the people-first enterprise is intelligent, powerful and flexible, and scales to meet the needs of any contact center and business. Agent-friendly as well as customer-friendly – Kustomer unifies data from multiple sources, enabling companies to deliver effortless, consistent and personalized service and support through a single timeline view. Today, Kustomer is the core platform of some of the leading People-first brands like Ring, Rent the Runway, Glossier, Away, Glovo, Slice, Sweetgreen, Stella & Dot, and UNTUCKit. Headquartered in NYC, Kustomer was founded in 2015 by serial entrepreneurs Brad Birnbaum and Jeremy Suriel, raised over $70M in venture funding, and is backed by leading VCs including: Battery Ventures, Redpoint Ventures, Canaan Partners, Boldstart Ventures, Social Leverage and Cisco Investments.

To learn more about Kustomer visit www.kustomer.com or reach out by email to media@kustomer.com.

 

About Battery Ventures:

Battery strives to invest in cutting-edge, category-defining businesses in markets including software and services, Web infrastructure, consumer Internet, mobile and industrial technologies. Founded in 1983, the firm backs companies at stages ranging from seed to private equity and invests globally from offices in Boston, the San Francisco Bay Area, London, Israel and New York. Follow the firm on Twitter @BatteryVentures, visit our website at www.battery.com and find a full list of Battery’s portfolio companies here.

Kustomer + SaaStr: Brad Birnbaum on Transitioning from CTO to CEO

Kustomer CEO and Founder Brad Birnbaum joins SaaStr’s podcast to share how he made his way into the world of customer experience and SaaS over 20 years ago.

Brad tackles a range of topics including:

  • The core benefits of repeat entrepreneurship
  • The challenges and surprises of transitioning from CTO to CEO, and what advice he’d give other CTOs looking to make the transition
  • How the product should lead your go-to-market strategy

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