We are in an era where AI is coming of age and AI-powered solutions are the latest rage. With this awakening, chat bots and live chat functionality has emerged to the forefront, especially in commerce-driven settings. Yet while companies are quick to adopt these nascent technologies, are they effectively measuring and monitoring the conversations taking place? RapportBoost.AI is uses machine learning and AI to optimize the live conversations taking place, creating more effective communication which drives more conversions. The solution seamlessly integrates into your existing live chat platform and trains your live chat agents to drive acquisition and revenue for your brand. Consider it the secret weapon and dedicated coach for your chat functionality.
LA TechWatch chatted with CEO and cofounder Tony Medrano about the company and its most recent round of funding.
Who were your investors and how much did you raise?
We have raised a Seed round of less than $1M from angel investors from Silicon Valley, New York and Los Angeles.
Tell us about your product or service.
RapportBoost.AI is an Augmented Intelligence company that uses proprietary machine learning to optimize live chat conversations for brands that sell online. Its AI platform, Maci™, delivers a sustained lift to chat revenue, conversion rates, average order size, and customer satisfaction while helping managers with training, quality assurance, and team efficiency. RapportBoost.AI’s platform can be configured to measure and improve any chat-related outcome important to an online brand.
What inspired you to start the company?
Professor Michael Housman (Chief Data Science Officer & co-founder) was researching short-form conversations (live chat, SMS, social) and discovered that the attributes that drove successful two-way short form communications were fundamentally and dramatically different than long-form communications (email) or voice communications.
Other companies optimize different customer acquisition channels (i.e. MixPanel does Mobile Apps, Optimizely does web pages, Gong.io does voice, etc.), but none does live chat. Live chat is also fundamentally more difficult because it requires our platform to train humans.
What market you are targeting and how big is it?
Online brands that use live chat on their homepage to acquire new customers, retain current customers and act as brand ambassadors by engaging visitors with well trained and equipped live agents.
What’s your business model?
B2B SaaS/PaaS with MRR/ARR after a Proof-of-Value.
Can artificial intelligence platforms accurately respond to human interactions without sacrificing authenticity?
No, not alone. AI needs a human-in-the-loop to be accurate and authentic.
What was the funding process like?
Straightforward. Our founding team has started companies, worked together and raised money together before.
What are the biggest challenges that you faced while raising capital?
Limiting the amount raised to meet our strategy.
What factors about your business led your investors to write the check?
Our team and our prior success together really helped us.
What are the milestones you plan to achieve in the next six months?
Making more customers successful. So far we have delivered a 80%+ conversion rate lift to our largest customer (Jenny Craig, Inc.), while decreasing their average live chat time by 50% and increasing agent, management and website visitor happiness. We plan to do more of this with more enterprise customers.
What advice can you offer companies in Los Angeles that do not have a fresh injection of capital in the bank?
Focus on delivering value to your customers first, money will follow.
Where do you see the company going now over the near term?
Steady growth in large, innovative, sophisticated online brands that care about engaging their customers via live chat will grow our customer base.
Where is the best place in LA to watch the sunset?
Marina del Rey, on our office rooftop!