Kustomer, a New York-based conversational customer relationship management (CRM) platform, announced in a blog post its recent success in raising $60 million in a fundraising round. This funding comes as Kustomer separates itself from its parent company Meta. The round was co-led by previous investors Battery and Redpoint, with participation from Boldstart.
Meta had owned the CRM startup for over a year. Facebook announced its intention to acquire Kustomer in November 2020, and the acquisition was finalized by February 2022 after obtaining all necessary regulatory clearances. Upon acquiring Kustomer, which at that time was valued at around $1 billion, Facebook had already rebranded itself as Meta.
The initial goal of Kustomer was to create a novel method of CRM based on the idea of omnichannel contact. Traditional CRMs at the time were incompatible with how consumers and potential customers currently interact with organizations.
Traditional customer care lines and desks have given way to various social media platforms, websites, and messaging apps.
Therefore, Kustomer’s goal was to create a cutting-edge platform to make it easier to manage all that and use that data to improve incoming and outgoing marketing communications. The COVID-19 epidemic caused a massive surge in its use.
Kustomer’s rapid ascent during the pandemic caught Facebook’s attention, leading them to recognize the alignment between Kustomer’s ideas and the envisioned trajectory for platforms like Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp.
The idea was to develop enterprise-grade products to codify, commercialize, and improve the informal communication that individuals and organizations were currently doing through these. However,
During its time at Meta, Kustomer made significant strides, expanding the company’s international offerings, augmenting its use of artificial intelligence, and enhancing integration with current communication channels.
However, as part of a larger cost-cutting and restructuring initiative, Meta divested Kustomer but retained a small shareholding. The existing agreement allows Meta to continue working with it to develop new products and offer customer service for any clients it acquired during the year that Meta owned it. The intention to divest was first announced in March 2023.
Kustomer’s Path Forward
With the infusion of additional capital, Kustomer aims to expand its workforce, focus on integrating new AI technology into its customer data platform, enhance automated support for faster and more accurate assistance, and empower agents to thrive in the ever-evolving AI landscape.
According to Brad Birnbaum, CEO of Kustomer, the company believes that combining contextual data from its customer care platform with AI can automate numerous client interactions and enhance agent performance. Kustomer’s ongoing objective is to simultaneously enhance its data platform, AI solutions, and agent tools.
In the first phase, Kustomer will update and streamline its interface, creating user-friendly tools that are faster and easier to navigate. The company will then enhance the automation customers rely on by integrating cutting-edge AI technology throughout its product suite and introducing innovative generative AI enhancements leveraging the customer data platform.
The company will continue to develop its customer CRM capabilities to drive the advancement of personalized and contextually relevant experiences.
We are confident in our vision to scale as an industry leader, and we look forward to fully embracing our startup superpowers to bring innovative customer service solutions to market faster than ever before,” Brad Birnbaum said.