AMSTERDAM — March 26, 2020 — Dutch startup Kaizo, formerly known as Ticketless, today announces a $3 million seed round led by Gradient Ventures, Google’s AI-focused venture fund, and Partech, with participation from several angel investors. Entrepreneur and investor Christoph Auer-Welsbach, former partner at IBM Ventures, also joins Kaizo as a co-founder. Kaizo was started in 2018 by Dominik Blattner, an entrepreneur with over a decade of experience building highly-scalable customer service applications.
“In our current social climate, customer support is an integral part of a company’s stability and growth that has embraced remote work to meet the demands of a globalized customer-base,” said Dominik Blattner, founder of Kaizo. “With the rise of support teams utilizing a digital workplace, providing standards to measure an agent’s performance has never been more important. KPIs provide these standards, quantifying the success, achievement and contribution of each team member.”
Kaizo has already onboarded over five hundred companies and thousands of customer support agents allowing them to leverage AI and gamification to work remotely more effectively and focus on common goals to drive the best possible experience for their customers. The Kaizo platform takes a bottom-up approach, using AI and level-based gamification to actively guide customer support agents towards making a greater impact in their company.
Christoph Auer-Welsbach, Kaizo’s co-founder said, “The idea of a quantified workforce, where your successes and failures are given a value seems motivating and engaging. But in reality, it can be the opposite when combined with the absence of a physical work environment. Kaizo offers a unique solution which enables a company to empower their agents to deliver the best performance while retaining them over the long term, and lets managers adapt to fast-changing environments based on data and a gamified engagement platform.”
Kaizo enables actionable OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) on an agent level. The platform matches a client’s performance metrics in real-time with a gamified point system that agents can trigger by achieving personal weekly goals which they set and manage on their own. The product is fully integrated into a team’s existing workflow and gives agents real-time feedback with an AI coach and personal ninja avatar. This point-based gamification element makes it easier than ever for managers to measure agent performance against KPIs, regardless of the external influences of remote work. For agents, it creates a community feeling within the workplace that is engaging and motivating. Over time, this unified, in-game digital work environment increases agent’s engagement, retention and overall performance.
“We’re excited about Kaizo’s novel approach to applying AI to existing ticket data from platforms like Zendesk and Salesforce to optimize the customer support workflow,” said Darian Shirazi, General Partner at Gradient Ventures. “Using machine learning, Kaizo understands which behaviors in customer service tickets lead to better outcomes for customers and then guides agents to replicate that using ongoing game mechanics. Customer support and service platforms today are failing to leverage data in the right way to make the life of agents easier and more effective. The demand Kaizo has seen since they launched on the Zendesk Marketplace shows agents have been waiting for such a solution for some time.”
Kaizo offers a suite of free and paid tools, enabling agents to self-manage while also digitally engaging with their colleagues. The platform fits seamlessly into their workflow and empowers managers to guide improvement based on performance insights. Its progressive approach, along with its no-hassle download process from Zendesk Marketplace, has made Kaizo one of the top 10 rated customer support apps based on user feedback. Over 500 companies currently use the Kaizo platform, including Truecaller, SimpleSurance, Miro, CreditRepairCloud, Justpark, Festicket and Nmbrs.
Dani Arias, Customer Happiness Manager at CreditRepairCloud, said, “With Kaizo, we’ve increased the operational efficiency of our remote team and motivated agents to improve the number of inquiries they handle per hour. As a result, we’ve cut our first reply time by 50% and increased our tickets solved per hour by 30%.”
With this new capital, Kaizo will focus on platform enhancement, market expansion and customer retention. The company has some key roles in those areas to fill, whether at its headquarters in Amsterdam or remotely.
“At a time when call centers worldwide are under a great deal of stress and pressure, it’s essential for companies to nurture their customer service agents, train them, optimize their everyday activities and maximize customer satisfaction, but more importantly to develop, motivate and retain them as individuals. We support Christoph and Dominik’s vision to bring an AI-driven revolution to the jobs of millions of customer service agents around the world, by acting in real time inside their existing CRM or customer support solution. We’re thrilled to join their journey as a company that will make a difference for an entire generation of workers,” said Romain Lavault, General Partner at Partech.
Co-founded by Dominik Blattner and Christoph Auer-Welsbach, Amsterdam-based Kaizo aims to actively guide employees towards achieving their goals and making an impact in their companies. Kaizo builds a performance management platform for customer support teams that uses gamification and AI to improve operational efficiency, elevate teams’ performance and retention with actionable OKRs. For more information, please visit kaizo.com.
About Gradient Ventures
Gradient Ventures is Google’s AI-focused venture fund – investing in and connecting early-stage startups with Google’s resources, innovation, and technical leadership in artificial intelligence. The fund focuses on helping founders navigate the challenges in developing new technology products, allowing companies to take advantage of the latest techniques so that great ideas can come to life. Gradient was founded in 2017 and is based in Palo Alto, California. For more information, visit www.gradient.com.
Partech is a global investment firm with offices in San Francisco, Paris, Berlin and Dakar. We bring together capital, operational experience and strategic support for entrepreneurs at seed, venture and growth stages across multiple continents, with over €1.3B investment capacity. Investments range from $200K to $50M in a wide range of technologies and businesses for enterprises and consumers, from software, digital brands and services, to hardware and deep tech across all major industries. Companies backed by Partech have completed more than 20 initial public offerings and more than 50 strategic exits above $100M.
Our current portfolio: https://partechpartners.com/companies