Directly Announces $20 Million Series B Funding with Participation from Microsoft Ventures
Investing Further in Crowd-Powered AI Platform for Customer Service
Directly, a crowd-powered AI platform for customer service, announced a $20 million Series B funding round today, led by Northgate Capital with participation from Microsoft Ventures and Series A investors Costanoa Ventures and True Ventures.
The investment will fund further development of Directly’s platform, which helps companies build trusted networks of experts (i.e. affiliates, champions, and power users with deep product expertise) that earn rewards for answering customer questions, creating help content, and training the AI.
Directly’s machine learning technology routes support questions to a company’s high performing experts whose responses and interactions train the AI to improve.
“It was an aha moment,” said Antony Brydon, CEO and co-founder of Directly. “The AI makes the experts more effective, the experts make the AI more effective, and the result is better answers.”
“Directly changes how companies think about artificial intelligence and how they deliver customer service,” said Leo de Luna, managing director at Microsoft Ventures. “We see a number of ways that Directly’s platform can help transform the enterprise by implementing amazing customer service experiences.”
Directly customers increase CSAT to an average of 93 percent, reduce response times to 2-3 minutes across digital channels, and reduce support costs by an average of 65 percent.
“The quality of the answers are good, the response times are very, very fast and the feedback we get from our customers is very positive,” said Grant Rochelle, Senior Director of Technical Support for Autodesk, which uses the Directly platform to harness a trusted network of Autodesk power users that include architects, designers, and aerospace engineers.
“At Samsung, we’re constantly pursuing innovative options to deliver great customer care,” said Michael Lawder, Senior VP of Customer Care for Samsung, which won a 2018 Gold Stevie Award for its Directly-powered web service solution. “Our partnership with Directly came about as part of the company’s vision to leverage the sharing economy to help our customers. It’s been wildly successful.”
World-class brands like Autodesk, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Pinterest, Samsung, and SAP use Directly to leverage the expertise in their network, provide better answers with Crowd-Powered AI, and transform the customer experience.