Pinterest, Airbnb, Udemy & Republic Wireless Provide On-Demand Customer Service Using Directly's Customer Service Apps

Directly Raises $10 Million Series A Funding, Led by Costanoa Venture Capital and True Ventures

May 19, 2015, 15:00 ET from Directly

SAN FRANCISCO, May 19, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Directly, maker of on-demand business apps, rolled out its customer service apps, shared results from use at Pinterest, Airbnb, Udemy and Republic Wireless, and announced $10 million in series A funding at the On-Demand Conference here today.

Directly's customer service apps help fast-growing companies scale support, improve customer experience and engage their expert users. Companies give the apps to their expert users. Directly's routing engine sends customer questions and helpdesk tickets to expert users on their smartphones, and then rewards them for quick resolution.

Visit to see how it works.

The results are fast and effective. In the first four months of use at Pinterest, expert Pinners resolved 80 percent of the questions routed to them on their Directly apps with an average first response time of 4 minutes and double digit gains in customer satisfaction. The technical integration took just 3 days from start to the first resolved tickets. Experts earn points from customers and ratings from other experts. The average expert earned $139 per week in April, with top earners making $1,181.

"Directly has allowed us to easily enable our community of Pinners to help each other in a way that works almost too well to believe," said Aaron Franklin, operations product manager at Pinterest.

At Republic Wireless, a nationwide wifi-first smartphone service, expert customers are resolving over 30 percent of all help queries (and growing) after just a few months. Directly routes help tickets from Republic's Zendesk software to experts, who answer questions in a 1.4 minutes average with a 92 percent helpful rating and hundreds of happy testimonials from customers.

"What they've shown us is that we can facilitate the spirit of our own relationship with our customers, and more importantly, of our customers with each other," said David Morken, co-founder and CEO of Republic Wireless in Raleigh, North Carolina. "Without the Directly platform, it would not be possible."

At Airbnb, hosts answer questions in their home countries in eight different languages.

"Directly is an important part of our commitment to providing world class hospitality and support to users around the world. With Directly, local community experts are helping answer questions every day and providing helpful information to less experienced users," said Sarah Hardy, head of customer voice at Airbnb in San Francisco. 

At Udemy, an online education platform where 14 thousand instructors create courses for 6 million students, the instructor support team uses Directly apps to handle support queries from students and other instructors. In a three-month test, the team resolved 1,648 tickets in 7 minutes on average with a 95 percent helpful rating.

"Using Directly is like future-proofing our customer service; our top-notch customer service resources scale naturally as our overall community grows," said Alex Mozes, director of customer support at Udemy in San Francisco.

Directly's new $10 million round of funding will support hiring in engineering to accelerate product development and in marketing, sales and customer service to deploy additional customers faster.

The round was led by Costanoa Venture Capital, whose founder and managing partner Greg Sands -- an early investor in Merced Systems, the first product manager at Netscape and former business development executive at Cisco -- will join co-founders Antony Brydon and Jeff Patterson on the Directly board.

"Traditionally, businesses had to pick between high-touch customer service and scalable, cost effective processes," said Sands. "Directly's breakthrough technology applies the on-demand model, that's been so successful in consumer markets, to this thorny business problem to let its customer have it both ways."

Existing investors True Ventures, CrunchFund and Toba Capital also participated in the round.

About Directly  
Directly makes on-demand business apps. Fast-growing companies like Pinterest, Airbnb and Republic Wireless use our customer service apps to scale support and improve customer experience. Expert users get a smart way to help others, share in the rewards and work on their own terms. Customers get expert help in minutes. Directly integrates with Zendesk, Desk and Salesforce and other leading helpdesk software.

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SOURCE Directly