LimeChat, the World's First Human-Level Chatbot Startup Raises $4.2 Million led by Stellaris Venture Partners and Pi Ventures
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Two graduates of IIT Delhi at one point in their life found themselves exasperated, shocked at the absolute shoddy customer service they were subjected to.
Nikhil Gupta tried to migrate his phone number - if you have had to deal with anything similar, you’ll know this experience- and spent hours waiting and the issue was ultimately left unresolved.
To get it fixed was not a simple process- Nikhil had to impatiently wait through long calls to their customer helpline, having to repeat the issue to a new person often along with their details - you know the drill.
Meanwhile, his batchmate- Aniket Bajpai, marveled at the completely opposite experience he had while trying to change his internet connection.
The difference was that Aniket’s conversation with the company happened almost entirely on WhatsApp.
Not an email or a phone call, but on chat. An app where most people are checking in every few minutes. The place where most users now ‘hang out'.
And when life got in the way as it inevitably does, the agent followed up promptly and closed the deal.
Not a minute was wasted talking on the phone!
The idea itself now, especially to a growing generation that hates picking up the phone and prefers to converse on chat, to have to call a company- is troublesome and exhausting.
Ain’t nobody got the time for that.
Both Nikhil and Aniket were stunned by the speed of the resolution and how easy this could make for customers across the country - if only there was a way to cater to the number of customers that India has to deal with.
This is where their studies and years of research in AI at IIT Delhi, MIT came in handy.
Soon it was time for grunt work- Aniket and Nikhil spent months researching customer service in India, talking to companies and their customers, finding pain points and issues.
Telecom and financial institutions however did not spark their interest as much as the growing rise of eCommerce brands in India.
Ecommerce comes with a pretty specific list of issues and also needed a pretty specific array of solutions.
Especially when they were growing rapidly due to the lockdown caused by the global pandemic.
Millions of people were now shopping online - and with growth, comes more queries, complaints, and issues to resolve.
When is my order coming?
Why is it late?
Will this suit me?
Is there a discount for me?
On Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger, and comments on Instagram - the number of similar queries are many and users expect answers within seconds.
This is the expectation and the level at which most good D2C brands are functioning already.
Many of these questions don’t need an agent - as long as the details are available at the back end, they just need to be communicated promptly to the customer.
This helps in making harder issues that need human intervention get the right attention and time they deserve.
This way a D2C brand can scale rapidly - without incurring overhead charges or needing to expand their customer team.
Customers these days are fickle and getting increasingly difficult to acquire. To keep them, to get them to make a sale AND be remembered as a responsive brand that cares for them - is essential.
This is where AI- when done right and when they don’t sound like AI can change your entire CX experience.
Annoyed at how previous AI experiments made them sound cold, abrupt and unlike a human, both Aniket and Nikhil experimented with creating their signature LEVEL 3 AI.
Where context, intention, and tone - all matter- to make the customer feel like an agent is responding to them.
And this human, level 3 AI is the reason LimeChat has now served over 125 clients in India and the world.
We first started with helping our eCommerce clients (including Mamaearth, MCaffeine, Wow Skin Science to name a few) automate sales tickets and soon realized we can help drive sales as well.
Especially on Whatsapp.
We were able to add value to them, significantly, so much so that we have grown purely through word of mouth- 30% month on month!
Our food clients had customers who wanted to know nutritional information, our beauty clients received questions around what is the expiry date and application tutorials, and our apparel clients had unique queries to solve- we were able to customize our chatbot to the brand - and that too quickly.
Soon we expanded into retention campaigns - improving the basic Abandoned checkout campaigns that existed to ones that could be executed well through Whatsapp and could be built into sequences- giving birth to our Signature Whatsapp Drip Campaign.
When all of this stabilized, we started to experiment more and push the boundaries- condensing and nailing down our vision for the years to come- to make conversational marketing efficient, scalable, and rewarding for eCommerce companies.
This is the reason for our growth- our founders are highly focused on continuously refining AI to solve real-world problems for the D2C landscape in India and the world.
So much so that some of the clients we worked for are now investors! This is how much value they saw in LimeChat and were confident in the role of chat in eCommerce in the coming decade.
Because this is where the world is heading- where online and offline merge and customer service has to be prompt in both- where brand personality has to be communicated at all touchpoints so that the customers of today and tomorrow feel connected and cared for, 24X7.
All through AI and a unique chatbot that can mimic a human.
But the journey isn't over yet- in fact, there is SO much we can do to revolutionize the world of conversational AI for the D2C ecosystem.
This is why we are thrilled to announce that we have raised $4.2 million in Seed funding led by Stellaris Venture Partners, with participation from Pi Ventures, Titan Capital and marquee angel investors.
In our co-founder Nikhil's words- " As we continue to build a category-defining SaaS company for global eCommerce brands, with Stellaris' track record in building global SaaS leaders and defining growth stories of leading D2C brands, we could not think of a better partner to support us in this journey."
This funding will exclusively fuel the next round of hiring and research we pride ourselves on, to continuously deliver incredible experiences to our clients.
If reading this made you want to join in, and you consider yourself highly driven and passionate about transforming marketing through human-level AI - you'll love that we might just have a spot for you. :)
Want to checkout if we can add value to your D2C brand? Book a demo here!