SmarterBiz, an artificial intelligence-based customer experience platform, said Thursday it has raised Rs 8 crore ($1.07 million) in its pre-Series A round of funding from venture capital firm StartupXseed Ventures.
A bunch of individuals also participated in this round. These included Bhaskar Pramanik, former chairman of Microsoft India; and MJ Aravind, co-founder of Daksh (acquired by IBM), SmarterBiz said in a statement.
SmarterBiz co-founder Rajesh Bernard said the investment will help the company grow its annual recurring revenue and create more gig opportunities in the market.
The startup, operated by Smarter Biz Technologies Pvt. Ltd, was founded in 2014 by Bernard, Vijay Krishna and Prateek Mehta. It raised seed funding from Utthishta Yekum Fund in 2015. The fund did not participate in this round but remains invested, Bernard told VCCircle.
The startup says its platform – Uearn.ai – enables customer experience teams to manage the entire lifecycle of their customers, technology backbone, process, and customer support agents on the cloud. This facilitates remote work opportunities and flexible working hours, particularly during the coronavirus pandemic.
Currently, all of its clients are domestic but it plans to take global clients in the next two to three years.
SmarterBiz caters to enterprises in sectors including e-commerce, financial services, hospitality and telecom. It is currently seeing maximum traction from the financial services and e-commerce sectors, said Bernard.
He also said that healthcare and education areas are growing because of the pandemic and sees potential clients in these sectors.
BV Naidu, managing partner at StartupXseed, said that there will be an increasing need for companies to integrate customer journeys, technology, remote work and gig models into their business process. “We believe that SmarterBiz will be one of the most sustainable global companies of the future,” he added.
StartupXseed is focussed on deep-technology and business-to-business (B2B) companies. It had marked the final close of its debut fund, Aaruha Technology Fund, at Rs 50 crore last year.
The fund was launched in 2015. Naidu, V Balakrishnan, Ramakrishnan V and Aarin Capital contributed to its initial corpus of Rs 30 crore. Canara Bank is the only institutional Limited Partner in the fund.
Its investments include enterprise human resources management platform and agri-tech startup AIBono.