Alice Labs, a Dhaka-based startup that provides multi-channel customer service solution and virtual assistant to ecommerce and online businesses, announced that it has raised US$500,000 in seed investment, per Tech In Asia. The round is led by New York-based VC Anchorless Bangladesh and participated by HOF Capital.
Plans: With the new investment, Alice Labs plans to further build out its product, build new partnerships and expand to more markets in Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and North Africa.
Alice Labs taps into a fast evolving phenomenon — messaging as a core platform for customer interaction and service management.
As commerce and communication move online, messaging increasingly becomes an important platform for customer interaction. Increasingly, customers, today communicate with businesses using online messaging platforms such as Facebook Messenger, Whatsapp, Telegram, etc. A report from Facebook suggests, every day more than 175 million people contact businesses via WhatsApp. The trend is only getting started.
The challenge for businesses comes from the ubiquity of messaging and online customer interaction platforms — there are simply too many platforms, and customer care support people routinely need to attend to too many channels and windows where customers communicate. This is unproductive and costly for companies.
Alice Labs offers a solution to address this challenge. The company’s MyAlice aggregate and automate interaction with customers. The company claims its solution can automate over 70% of conversations and help reduce customer service management costs by as much as 30%.
We have seen several developments in the space over the last few years. Facebook has been investing in the space — the social media giant last year acquired Kustomer “an omnichannel CRM platform that brings customer conversations from various channels together, including phone, email, webchat, and messaging, into a single-screen view”. There are other players looking to crack the market.
The growing competition can be a challenge for Alice Labs. However, the company appears to have a product edge — It aggregates and automates the conversations and can help manage customer interaction with minimum involvement of human agents. As Alice Labs expands into more markets in Southeast Asia and integrates more languages, it can help the company build stronger competitive moats. Moreover, for ambitious startups, competitions offer potential opportunities as well.