Spectrm, an AI-powered conversational marketing platform has raised $3 million in Series A funding from international VC fund Runa Capital. Spectrm automates conversations to engage and convert customers online via an AI-driven algorithm. Chatbot, created with Spectrm, instantly responds to incoming messages and turns every message from a pain to a gain. Then marketers use that data to segment the customer base and build stronger customer relationships. The platform is used by companies like eBay, Ford, Groupon, Renault, KLM and more. Spectrm’s competitors include LivePerson (Nasdaq-listed), ManyChat (raised $19.1 million), Snaps.io ($11.3 million), Automat.ai ($10.9 million), and Chatfuel ($120,000).
When Facebook unveiled Libra, its cryptocurrency project, there were two distinct entities — the Libra Association, a not-for-profit that oversees all things Libra, and Calibra, a Facebook subsidiary that is building a Libra-based wallet with integrations in WhatsApp and Messenger. Today, Facebook announced that Calibra has a new name, Novi. By rebranding Calibra to Novi, Facebook is trying to make it super clear that the Libra project isn’t a Facebook project per se. Facebook is just a member of the Libra Association with dozens of other members, such as Andreessen Horowitz, Coinbase, Iliad, Lyft, Shopify, Spotify, Uber, etc.
Baton, an early-stage startup that wants to help customers organize the post-sales implementation process, emerged from stealth today with a $10 million Series A investment. Where project management tends to be internally focused, Baton is designed to bring all the parties — from vendor to client to systems integrator — together in one tool, so everyone knows their responsibilities and targets.
Bluecore, a marketing technology firm that uses data gained from direct marketing like email, social media, site activity and combines that with machine learning to make better predictions about who might want to buy what among its customers, has raised $50 million. The funding comes on the heels of significant growth for the company, and Bluecore believes that its platform and how its used influences some 10% of all non-Amazon Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) in the U.S. Given how fragmented the e-commerce landscape is (once you remove Amazon from the equation, of course) that is a significant percentage. Its 400 customers today include high-profile names like Sephora, CVS, Teleflora and Tommy Hilfiger.
Facebook announced a number of new products coming to Workplace, its enterprise-focused chat and video platform, including Workplace versions of Rooms (its Houseparty video drop-in clone) and Work Groups (basically smaller groups you could create on Facebook to chat directly to your colleagues outside of your wider circle of friends). The key element of Rooms that will stand out for Workplace users is that those who are on Workplace already can use it to create links that others can use to drop in, even if they’re not a part of the user’s Workplace group or on Facebook itself. Like Zoom or the others, essentially it’s a URL link that will let anyone with a camera, a microphone, a browser and a connection link in. Workplace now has 5 million paying users (and millions more using it for free)
API marketplace RapidAPI has raised another $25 million from Microsoft and other investors. RapidAPI’s approach is to create a framework that not only helps you find the API you are looking for, but lets you integrate them more easily by way of a single API key and SDK. It covers both free and paid APIs, and public as well as “private” APIs. When your company is a subscriber — by way of the RapidAPI for Teams product — it can also help keep track of your own organization’s API work. The formula has been a success. There are now 18,000 teams using the Teams product among more than one million developers using the platform overall.
Ecwid, the startup that sells e-commerce tools directly and via third parties like Square and Wix, letting businesses build e-commerce experiences on their own websites and apps, as well as via Facebook, Instagram, Amazon, Google, and more, has raised $42 million. Ecwid is in the stable of e-commerce companies that include the likes of Shopify, BigCommerce and WooCommerce, which have seized on the growth of online shopping over the last decade and helped companies that are not digital by nature — specifically small and medium brick-and-mortar businesses — become a part of that digital economy. And to underscore that low barrier to entry, its pricing starts at free to enable shopping on a website covering 10 or fewer products.
As organizations look for safe and efficient ways of running their services in the new global paradigm of increased social distancing, Truework that has built a platform to help people verify their work details in a secure way has raised $30 million. The problem that Truework is aiming to solve is the very clunky, and often insecure, nature of how organizations typically verify an individual’s employment information. Details about salary and where you work, and the job you do, are typically essential for larger financial transactions, whether it’s securing a mortgage or another financing loan, or renting an apartment, or for others who might need to verify that information for other purposes, such as staffing agencies.