Kustomer, an up-and-coming cloud-based CRM platform for hot DTC brands like UNTUCKit, ThirdLove and The Farmer’s Dog, has acquired Reply.ai, a company that uses AI and machine learning to improve agent efficiency by deflecting customer queries through chatbots and widgets.
The deal is for an undisclosed sum, but Kustomer did say after its last funding round of $60 million in December that one of its aims was to boost its AI capabilities through acquisition. The two companies have worked together on CRM integration projects, TechCrunch reported. Kustomer has raised more than $170 million and is reportedly valued at $710 million.
Reply.ai will fit into the company’s new Kustomer IQ platform, an AI engine embedded across Kustomer’s CRM platform. Reply.ai will provide deeper intelligent self-service and assistance via Natural Language Processing (NLP) based chatbots.
Kustomer will also look to expand its European presence through Reply.ai, which is based in Madrid. The company is looking to grab share from much larger CRM players like Salesforce – where co-founders Brad Birnbaum and Jeremy Surieland once worked – Oracle and Zendesk.
“We believe artificial intelligence is essential to helping today’s enterprises scale customer service and efficiently deliver exceptional results,” said Birnbaum in a release. “We recently rolled out Kustomer IQ to meet the growing need for companies to have access to the power of AI. With today’s acquisition, we continue our investment in bringing self-service tools and intelligence capabilities to our clients.”
Reply.ai AI and ML capabilities can deflect customer queries to widgets that handle repetitive, routine tasks for agents, and can be embedded in email and online forms. It looks at historical and contextual data, continuously improving over time. An information retrieval system extracts relevant answers to customer questions from a company’s knowledge base.
Repli.ai’s capabilities will also improve Kustomer IQ’s ability to weave together interactions across web, email, chat and phone, giving support agents a single omnichannel view of each customer and their history.
Birnbaum said Reply.ai’s platform of smart widgets and self-service chatbots allow companies to deflect 40% of initial customer communications, resolving issues without agent interaction, freeing them up for higher-level functions and creating operational efficiency.
Reply.ai also features a platform to build chatbots that can be deployed across multiple channels and languages, and agent-assist tools that suggest relevant answers to messages and subsequent actions, such as routing or auto-tagging conversations.