Customer messaging startup Pypestream has announced a $15 million financing round in an official blog post. The Series A was led by Rick Braddock, former CEO of Priceline and former COO of Citibank, with participation from The Chatterjee Group, a global hedge fund. Also investing in the round are a number of existing and new individual investors.
Several customer messaging startups are trying to disrupt the traditional call center and email based customer service model. Pypestream said in the blog post that “these channels no longer suffice for an increasingly demanding consumer, who has become accustomed to having everything on demand.” Their mission is to enable brands to engage with consumers in personal, 1:1 conversations at scale.
Pypestream was launched in late 2015 with a $2M seed funding as a platform for businesses to create accounts to communicate with customers. They do this by having brands sign-up to create various channels called “Pypes,” each dedicated to different types of communications. Brands deliver customer service and marketing messages to customers through a mix of automated and human communication.
Since then, the startup has focused on using AI & machine learning to automate as many inbound customer support queries as possible. Pypestream said the funding will be used to continue development of their Smart Messaging Platform that combines AI and chatbots to help businesses take advantage of personalized mobile messaging.
“We’re helping businesses unlock the power of smart messaging while accelerating AI innovation in the enterprise,” said Pypestream Founder and CEO Richard Smullen. “Social networks and messaging apps do not have the infrastructure to support rich customer interactions. What businesses need is an intelligent, secure and automated way to engage with customers at scale using mobile messaging. Pypestream delivers on this vision by bringing smart messaging and AI capabilities to sales, service, marketing and more. We are empowering enterprises to drive customer satisfaction and loyalty from the palm of their hands.”
Mr. Braddock said, “Pypestream is exactly at the time and place that I like to get involved with early stage companies. It’s an exciting new solution designed to significantly enhance customer engagement for enterprises in all categories. Pypestream already has strong customer momentum, an excellent management team, and a highly defensible IP-based solution that is driving ROI for its enterprise customers. I am very excited to assist the management team in scaling the business.” Braddock will also serve as Pypestream’s executive chairman.
Pypestream is also expanding its executive team with key appointments in Sales, Marketing and operations. Named customers include Lynx Services and Discovery Health, as well as unnamed federal government departments.