NEW YORK, Sept. 27, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Successful SaaS founders Brad Birnbaum and Jeremy Suriel today unveiled their newest company, Kustomer, with $10 million in Series A funding led by Canaan Partners. Combined with a previous seed round of $2.5 million, Kustomer has raised $12.5 million in funding to date. Boldstart Ventures and Social Leverage participated in both rounds.
Kustomer will launch a SaaS-based customer relationship platform later this fall that integrates applications and data in new ways to help service teams quickly understand and better respond to customer needs. Already in beta with trial customers, it employs a predictive, timeline-based approach that treats customers like people instead of "tickets" and gives service agents everything they need to operate a customer relationship all in one place. This holistic, omni-channel approach enables more customized service and higher agent productivity, thus empowering any company to both increase ROI and become more customer-centric.
Kustomer will be focusing first on the SMB market which, according to Gartner, is the fastest-growing segment of the estimated $36 billion global CRM market and is comprised of seven million small and medium businesses in the U.S. alone.
"Customer relationships are one of the most important assets a company has, but businesses are using outdated point solutions to manage them," said Brad Birnbaum, CEO and co-founder of Kustomer. "We're going to change that. We want to help agents and teams more effectively collaborate by utilizing a simple, yet powerful interface that provides a full understanding of their customers as real people."
"The marriage of customer support and SaaS expertise in Kustomer's executive team makes them uniquely capable of providing the much-needed disruption of customer service," said Warren Lee, general partner at Canaan Partners. "Beyond the seasoned team, we chose to invest in Kustomer because the platform is truly revolutionary. Consumerization of the enterprise is something we've seen work well in cases like Slack, but Kustomer's approach to this problem is really the first of its kind."
Kustomer's leadership team is made up of successful entrepreneurs and pioneers in customer-centric technology. Kustomer co-founders Brad Birnbaum (CEO) and Jeremy Suriel (CTO) have spent more than two decades building customer service software. As co-founders of Assistly in 2009, they were early pioneers in SaaS-based customer service applications for SMBs. Assistly was acquired by Salesforce in 2011, becoming Desk.com.
Kustomer COO Rob Bailey was previously at DataSift, where he served as CEO from 2011 to 2014. In that time, Bailey scaled DataSift from pre-revenue to more than a thousand corporate clients in 40 countries, helping hundreds of companies transform their client relationships using social networks including Twitter and Facebook. Dan Stern, the former vice president of customer success at Salesforce's Desk.com also joins as vice president of customer experience.
BoxGroup and Plug and Play Ventures also participated in Kustomer's Series A financing and previous seed round. Joining the current round as individual angel investors are George Hu, the former COO of Salesforce; Alex Bard, CEO of Campaign Monitor and former executive vice president and general manager at Service Cloud (Salesforce); and Jeff Leventhal, founder and former CEO of Work Market. Bard also has joined Kustomer's board of directors.
Kustomer is the first intelligent customer relationship platform that focuses on people, not tickets. The founding team, comprised of former Salesforce and DataSift executives, created Kustomer to empower businesses of all sizes to excel in customer service by thoughtfully connecting applications and data together to provide a fully integrated and actionable platform. Backed by Canaan Partners, Boldstart Ventures, Social Leverage and BoxGroup, Kustomer was founded in 2015 with headquarters in Manhattan. For more information, please visit Kustomer.com.
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