Talla

VC-Backed Artificial Intelligence Platform

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Company Information

Website:

https://talla.com/

Sector:

Customer Relationship Management Software

Location:

Boston, MA

Talla is using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to change the way businesses deliver customer support.

Using what's called cognitive robotic process automation, Talla automates customer support answers and ensures information is always accurate. Its product automatically answers 90% of customer questions, increases support agent resolutions by 25%, and reduces call support time by 10%.

Talla is backed by venture capital firms including Glasswing Ventures, PJC, and Avalon Ventures. And it’s been featured in MIT Technology Review, Forbes, and TechCrunch.

The company’s notable clients include PayPal, Toast, and Mutual of Omaha. In a year-long case study with Toast, a point-of-sale restaurant management system, the use of Talla saved the company an estimated $2 million.

Talla was created to solve a simple, yet frustrating, problem: getting answers from customer support teams isn’t easy.

How many times have you had issues with customer service? Ever been given the run-around trying to get an answer to a simple question? Ever spent way too long selecting option after option, only to get re-routed back to the main menu each time?

If so, you’re not alone. According to Salesforce, $62 billion is lost each year in the U.S. due to poor customer service. Customers are four times more likely to defect and buy from a competitor if a problem is service-related. And 80% of customers say that customer experience is just as important as a company’s product or service.

Companies try to create efficient customer service resources. But it takes as long as six months for a support representative to become proficient in their role.

The bottom line: businesses need a tool that connects their customers straight to the answers. Talla is that tool.

The company describes its platform as the “connective tissue” between scattered teams and tools, helping companies get the right information to the right person — right away.

Talla’s customer-facing solution is a dynamic chatbot that doesn’t rely on a few preset, clunky scripts. Instead, it plucks information from wherever a company stores it. Talla can pull information from Microsoft Word documents, Google documents, PDFs, select e-mails, and information from the company’s website.

This leads to 90% of support questions being answered at first contact. And if Talla doesn’t know something, it alerts support teams and lets them know where the gap in the knowledge is.

For agents and support teams, Talla acts as a powerful knowledge management tool. This tool can highlight knowledge gaps and field internal questions.

For example: if a customer service agent asks a question in the team Slack channel, Talla can answer. If a recent sales team hire receives an inbound e-mail they don’t know how to reply to, Talla can answer that, too. The result is a 25% increase in agent productivity and 50% faster handle times for issues.

Between the speed of setup, ease of deployment, superior AI and machine learning capabilities, and superior response automation, Talla is unlike any customer support platform on the market.

Talla is offered as a monthly subscription, and the price is dependent on client size. The price also changes as the client grows.

Talla has more than 30 clients and has built a $7 million pipeline. Its average deal size is $80,000. In 2020, the company generated $400,000 in revenue.

Its clients include companies with large workforces handling high volumes of customers (e.g., insurance companies and financial services companies); companies with seasonal spikes in demand that need to hire a large number of temporary agents (e.g., H&R Block); and companies with widespread teams such as agencies and consulting firms.

Team Background

Frank Speiser - Chairman & CEO

Frank joined Talla in December 2019.

Most recently, he co-founded SocialFlow, a machine-learning-enabled content distribution software company. Prior to that, he was on the Board of Advisors for several companies, including three that were acquired. OMGPOP.com, a social gaming company, was acquired by Zynga. Pictela, a media syndication company, was acquired by AOL. And NabeWise, a social platform for neighborhoods, was acquired by Airbnb.

Earlier, Frank was Chief Technology Officer with TAKKLE, a networking platform for high school athletes looking to play college sports. This company was acquired by Alloy Digital, a digital media company. Before that, he held the same position with Heavy.com, an online media company.

Frank is a member of Forbes’ Technology Council and is considered an AI “Thought Leader.” He studied Management at Boston University and Philosophy at Columbia University.

Byron Galbraith - Co-Founder & CTO

Prior to starting Talla, Byron was a research assistant at Boston University. Before that, he was a software developer with Table XI Partners, a design and software development firm.

Earlier, he was a research assistant at Marquette University and before that was a system analyst and programmer at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine.

His research expertise includes natural language processing, brain-computer interfaces, and high-performance computing.

Byron earned a Bachelor’s degree in Bioengineering from the University of Illinois at Chicago, a Master’s degree in Bioinformatics from Marquette, and a Ph.D. in Cognitive and Neural Systems from Boston University.

Gunnar Link - Chief Financial Officer

Gunnar has more than a decade of experience in financial roles.

He started as a lead generator with Fisher Investments, a financial services company. From there, he was a financial analyst with ARM, a company focused on semiconductors.

More recently, he was a consultant with Deloitte, and then became Chief Financial Officer with CAPA, a networking organization focused on the education industry. He then was a CFO consultant with Venture Growth Partners, a company providing financial strategic advice.

He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Santa Clara University and a Master’s degree in Economics from Northeastern University.

Yemi Adepetu - Vice President of Product

Prior to Talla, Yemi co-founded max.ng, a logistics company. Before that, he spent six years as an engineer with Carrier Corporation, a heating, ventilation, and air conditioning company. He specialized in system designs, analysis, and project coordination.

Yemi holds a Master’s degree in System Design and Management from MIT and a Master’s degree in Computer and Electrical Engineering from Purdue University.

Co-Investors

Avalon Ventures

An early-stage venture capital fund focused on technology-based companies. Portfolio includes Zynga, Node, and Tapad.

Glasswing Ventures

An early-stage VC firm investing in next-generation technology startups.

LAUNCH

An accelerator founded by notable angel investor Jason Calacanis. This program offers networking and capital to early-stage startups.

LaunchCapital

A venture capital firm whose portfolio includes Life360, Airfox, and Digg.

Pillar VC

A venture capital firm investing in seed-stage companies located in the Boston area. Portfolio includes PillPack and Desktop Metal.

PJC

An early-stage venture capital firm that's made more than 100 investments and achieved more than a dozen successful "exits."

Raising
$1.07 million
Committed
$176K (16%)
Current Valuation
$19.79 million
Min. Investment
$99
Deal Type
Title III
(For all investors)
Offering Type
Equity
Finance History
  • $4 million
    2016-02-08
    Avalon
    (Venture Round)
  • $8.30 million
    2017-06-19
    Glasswing Ventures
    (Series A)
Notable Investors
  • Avalon Ventures
  • Glasswing Ventures
  • LAUNCH
  • LaunchCapital
  • Pillar VC
  • PJC
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