VirtuOz Names Eric Hahn and Karen Richardson to Board of Directors

Software Industry Veterans Position the Company for Growth

12 Feb, 2009, 07:00 ET from VirtuOz

SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- VirtuOz, the leading provider of intelligent, multilingual virtual support and sales agent solutions, today announced the appointment of Eric Hahn, founder of Inventures Group, and Karen Richardson, advisor to Silver Lake Partners, to its Board of Directors. Both Hahn and Richardson are experienced technology entrepreneurs and bring extensive operational and leadership expertise to the company. They join MDV partner David Feinleib and Galileo Partners' Francois Duliege on the VirtuOz board.


"Especially in this difficult financial climate, it is exciting to watch VirtuOz's technology dramatically reducing the cost of customer support while simultaneously increasing customer satisfaction," commented Eric Hahn. "VirtuOz developers have made significant contributions to the commercial application of artificial intelligence and natural language understanding, and have developed a unique solution to power their virtual support and sales agents. The agents learn from every interaction, improve their responses over time, and engage with customers in an interactive dialogue much like a conversation with a live person. I'm thrilled to work with a team that has built a vibrant and profitable business with over 25 agents installed worldwide."

Eric Hahn is the founding partner of the Inventures Group, a leading mentor investment firm based in Palo Alto, California. At Inventures, Mr. Hahn has served as a director and has been actively involved with companies including Red Hat, Zimbra, Opsware, Proofpoint, and Good Technology. Previously, Mr. Hahn served as the CTO for Netscape Communications, Inc. Mr. Hahn was the founder and CEO of Collabra Software, Inc., a leading groupware provider that was acquired by Netscape in 1995. Mr. Hahn began his career at Bolt, Beranek and Newman, where he worked on the ARPAnet, the precursor to the Internet.

"Most companies have implemented some form of CRM (Customer Relationship Management) solution and consider those technologies core to their business," commented Karen Richardson. "Companies now need to invest in solutions that allow them to interact more effectively and efficiently with their customers and provide customers with a better overall experience. I'm pleased to be working with a company that has clear proof points and demonstrable ROI: VirtuOz intelligent virtual agents have helped customers reduce email volumes up to 50% and phone volumes up to 20% while delivering resolution rates over 90%. Additionally, the VirtuOz solutions extend beyond support and service to include agents for marketing and guided selling, which drive incremental revenue -- another way that VirtuOz distinguishes itself from the competition."

Karen Richardson brings over 20 years of experience to the VirtuOz board as a key player in several well-known and highly successful technology companies. Karen is an adviser to Silver Lake Partners, a $16 billion private equity investment firm. She is Chairman of the Board for Hi5, one of the world's largest and fastest growing social networking sites, and also serves on the advisory board of the Stanford Technology Ventures Program. Prior to VirtuOz, Richardson was CEO of Epiphany, a leading provider of marketing analytics and web personalization. She also held senior sales positions at Netscape, during which the company's sales grew from $80 million to over $500 million annually. Prior to her position at Netscape, Karen was VP of Worldwide Sales at Collabra Software, Inc.; worked for four years with Lotus Development Corporation in a variety of sales and marketing roles as well as at cc:Mail, and 3Com Corporation.

"Karen and Eric are fantastic additions to our board. They both have outstanding track records in working with market leading technology companies and helping them to scale," said VirtuOz CEO and co-founder Alexandre Lebrun. "Their industry knowledge and experience will give us the kind of strategic and tactical insight that will help to accelerate our growth and maximize the opportunity that we have in the $600 billion customer care and online sales markets."

The appointment of Hahn and Richardson comes on the heels of the completion of an $11.4 million Series B round of investment from MDV-Mohr Davidow Ventures, Galileo Partners and Hahn's Inventures Group. VirtuOz has company headquarters in the Bay Area and will use proceeds from the financing to scale operations, advance the product roadmap and deliver solutions to a broader set of customers. VirtuOz has installed over 25 virtual agent solutions in 7 languages worldwide.

About VirtuOz

VirtuOz delivers intelligent, multilingual virtual support and sales agent solutions to online businesses tasked with dramatically reducing support costs, while improving customer satisfaction and driving incremental revenue. Through significant developments in artificial intelligence and natural language processing, VirtuOz allows ubiquitous, personal and natural interaction between humans and Internet-based services -- VirtuOz support and sales agents -- on a 24/7 basis. Our intelligent virtual agent solution interacts with customers online via chat and instant messenger interfaces to deliver support and sales information effectively and efficiently. The longer VirtuOz agents are in use at a company, the more valuable they become as their efficacy and success rates increase. Current customers include: online marketplace leader, travel agency, telecom service provider AOL-Neuf, insurance group, and financial services provider Banque Accord. For more information visit: