Published on March 30, 2023
Series A funding fast-tracks growth for Berlin-based Contact Center AI Platform
- Customer service revolution: the groundbreaking Parloa platform uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) to conduct thousands of high-quality automated customer calls and chats simultaneously.
- Led by EQT Ventures, the fast-growing Berlin-based AI company has successfully closed a €20m Series A fundraising round.
- The investment will propel Parloa’s international expansion across the multi-billion dollar global customer service and technology markets.
- Notable Parloa investors include German unicorn founders as well as soccer pro and business angel Mario Götze.
- Collaboration with Microsoft gives Parloa customers immediate access to the OpenAI language model in Azure.
Berlin, March 30, 2023 – Berlin-based enterprise software provider Parloa puts a stop to endless wait times and subpar customer service bots, winning a show of support from Series A investors. Continuing its track record of high-paced growth, the German innovator has just completed a successful round of financing — acquiring 20 million Euros in backing from leading investors, led by prestigious Swedish firm EQT Ventures, and including new funding from existing investors Newion and Senovo.
Parloa’s natural-sounding, always-accessible AI speech application ups the ante on automated spoken customer communication — and this investment will accelerate the company’s expanding international footprint.
“Our platform is already demonstrating the tremendous value AI tools bring to customer service — in very simple, groundbreaking ways,” said Malte Kosub, CEO of Parloa, who founded the German company in 2018 with Stefan Ostwald. “This represents a huge opportunity for companies, their employees, and their customers — and shows the immediate applicability and value of AI. Customer contact is a multi-billion dollar global market – and one of the first to be disrupted by AI,” said Kosub. “We have found an experienced international investor in EQT Ventures, who are actively supporting our further development and global expansion.”
Added value for companies and customers thanks to AI
More than $400B dollars are spent every year to operate customer contact centers around the world, with companies struggling to find technology to create more efficient customer service operations. Despite this, automated customer service remains a frustrating experience for everyone involved: Customers are annoyed by long queues and “bad bots,” while companies struggle to provide a positive customer and employee experience in the face of a labor crunch. With Parloa’s platform, companies can scale — conducting thousands of customer dialogues at the same time. More importantly, Parloa’s AI can communicate in natural language, can solve inquiries on its own, and remove frustrations associated with inflexible, highly-scripted response systems. This relieves contact center agents of their most mundane, repetitive tasks and offers them the freedom to concentrate on more complex, high-touch, high-value interactions.
“A new era is beginning for the contact center industry. We believe that AI for customer communications will become one of the largest software markets in the world in the coming years,” said Doreen Huber, Partner at EQT Ventures. “We are excited by Parloa’s team and convinced that Parloa’s unique technology will make a significant contribution to innovation in customer communications. I am pleased to be part of this exciting development.”
Collaboration with Microsoft, to bring cutting-edge AI capabilities to enterprises
The Parloa platform brings together everything companies need to use AI in customer service, from speech recognition to natural voices. In addition, it offers an intuitive, user-friendly interface that can be operated without programming knowledge. “The operational business units are immediately able to develop the solutions themselves, without the need of engineers,” explains Kosub.
Parloa is a Microsoft partner and runs its platform with Microsoft Azure. “Microsoft and Parloa share a commitment to help empower customers to revolutionize customer service with sophisticated digital solutions. With the global scale and advanced AI capabilities in Azure, Parloa and our joint Digital Contact Center Platform customers will see tangible business value,” said Charles Lamanna, Corporate Vice President, Business Applications & Platform at Microsoft.
Parloa combines a multitude of AI components, including its own AI modules as well as large language models like Generative Pre-trained Transformer (GPT) via Azure OpenAI Service. With Parloa organizations can easily customize their experience to company-specific needs and knowledge — adapting to function most efficiently in their own workflows.
Support from unicorn founders
In addition to EQT Ventures, investors from previous financing rounds continue to invest in the growth of Parloa. This includes the venture capital funds Newion and Senovo, as well as founders from numerous German unicorns such as Erik Muttersbach and Michael Wax (Forto), Hanno Renner (Personio) and Nicolas Peters (Signavio), German contact center entrepreneur Jens Bormann (Muuuh! Group) as well as soccer professional and business angel Mario Götze.
Current Parloa customers include insurance companies ERGO, Helvetia, Swiss Life, and AdmiralDirekt; retail companies Decathlon, HSE, and Thalia; Teamviewer; and the German Red Cross.
Parloa is a leading AI company focused on automating customer service with game-changing, intuitive conversations that reduce frustration and increase high-volume efficiency. Parloa’s Contact Center AI platform uses state-of-the-art technology to extend natural-sounding customer conversations across all relevant service channels — decreasing time-to-resolution and resulting in better quality customer and employee experiences. Based in Berlin, the company was founded in 2018 by Malte Kosub and Stefan Ostwald. Parloa now employs more than 100 people. www.parloa.com
About EQT Ventures
EQT Ventures is a multi-stage VC fund that partners with the most ambitious and boldest founders in Europe and the US. The fund is based in Luxembourg and has investment advisors stationed in Stockholm, Amsterdam, London, San Francisco, Berlin and Paris. Fuelled by experienced company builders and scalers, EQT Ventures helps the next generation of entrepreneurs with the capital and hands-on support needed to build global winners. www.eqtventures.com.
Newion is an Amsterdam-based venture capital firm, focused on early-stage investments in European B2B software companies. Newion III is supported by InnovFin Equity, with the financial backing of the European Union under Horizon 2020 Financial Instruments and the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), set up under the Investment Plan for Europe. The purpose of EFSI is to help support financing and implementing productive investments in the European Union and to ensure increased access to finance. Further information can be found at: www.newion.com
Senovo (www.senovo.vc) is an early-stage venture capital firm based in Munich and Berlin that partners with exceptional founders building global B2B SaaS category leaders from Europe. As a European first-mover, since 2013 the fund invests into a new generation of B2B software startups that enable the digitalization of medium and large enterprises. Their focus is primarily on supporting teams working in the areas of process optimization, industry 4.0, and data-enabled solutions. Senovo joins the journey after a company has first revenues in a late Seed or Series A round. Their team of SaaS specialists seek meaningful eye-level relationships and regularly publish their learnings and thought leadership at www.medium.com/senovovc.