(Image source: Ushur homepage.)
Ushur (Santa Clara, Calif.) a startup offering a service engagement platform, has secured $12 million in Series A funding in a round led by 8VC, a San Francisco-based venture capital firm focused on investing in data driven solutions that address markets with significant growth potential. The funding will be used to grow Ushur’s team, invest in sales and marketing, and build on customer momentum achieved so far, according to Simha Sadasiva, CEO and co-founder of Ushur.
Sadasiva founded Ushur with Henry Peter to address what they saw as significant deficiencies in traditional, highly manual customer engagement workflows that resulted in poor customer experience across industries. They sought to address the opportunity with the Ushur Service Engagement platform, which they characterize as an AI-powered, data-driven approach to customer engagements across a variety of B2B workflows that reduce friction and elevate the customer experience.
Service Interactions as Micro-Engagements
The Ushur platform conceives of service interactions as “micro-engagements” that a business has with its customer, employee or partner. Each such engagement contributes either to a positive or negative experience and contributes to the brand reputation of the company. “That could be a customer awaiting a ticket resolution, an employee wanting to better understand benefits, a marketing team desiring better response times or partners signing up new businesses,” Sadasiva clarifies. “There is an engagement and an experience at each stage. A series of positive micro-engagements can build greater trust and brand loyalty while negative, friction-laden engagements erode it.”
The Ushur Service Engagement platform is designed to allow businesses to better engage with their customers, employees and partners through a variety of channels and build their brands through a net positive set of interactions, according to Sadasiva. He describes the solution as a highly extensible platform that can be applied to a variety of engagement methodologies, traditional or otherwise.
Ushur’s founders believed the moment was right for the platform given insurers’ and other industries’ shifting priorities. After focusing on infrastructure optimization and agility, such as Cloud and DevOps, C-Suite, technology and service delivery teams are looking to focus on customer experience, Sadasiva believes. “Digital transformation initiatives and budgets are also aligned,” he says. “Also, the growth of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning has allowed technology platforms such as ours to provide more context behind automation. Thus, we see a combination of factors that have created a perfect storm in terms of timing.”
Fortune 500 Customers
Ushur currently has several Fortune 500 customers and is currently focusing on the insurance vertical, where the platform has enjoyed significant according to Sadasiva. “We’ve been successful in expanding our use-cases and deal sizes once we demonstrate value very rapidly. At the same time, we have a handful of customers in other areas. Our platform is highly extensible, and we intend to increase traction across other verticals over time”
Unum (Chattanooga, Tenn.) is a strategic customer of Ushur, working with the startup on a variety of different use-cases, according to Sadasiva. “We are partnering with them on several digitization initiatives,” he remarks.