Freespee, which is now calling itself a “real-time conversation cloud technology company,” has raised €9.25 million in Series B funding. Leading the round were French venture capital firm Ventech, along with existing investors Sunstone Capital and Inventure. In a move signalling that this a mixture of equity and debt financing, Silicon Valley Bank also participated.
Freespee was founded all the way back in 2009, originally positioning itself as an adtech company that makes it easier for online brands to encourage customers to call, including offering click-to-call analytics. It has now radically changed its operations, and instead offers a much broader cloud marketing platform, with a focus on “conversational commerce”.
The Freespee platform lets companies keep track of and measure the return on investment for conversations it has with prospective customers that originate from a brand’s own web property or mobile app, no matter through what channel — phone, chat or email — those conversations take place. It also allows for the resulting marketing to be personalised for each customer.
Carl Holmquist, Freespee co-founder and CEO, said in a statement:
There is no simple way for a brand to understand how customer communications through phone, chat and email influence and help grow its internet business. We’re building a cloud that gives marketers and e-commerce professionals access to these legacy technology stacks.
What Holmquist means by “legacy technology stacks” is the way conversations with customers across email, a pop-up chat box on a company’s website, or via a click-to-call phone call, typically sit in silos that make it difficult to integrate into existing marketing, analytics and CRM tools.
Customer conversations often jump from one channel to the next, perhaps starting with an email and moving to a phone call, posing another problem for a company’s marketing department to adequately and efficiently measure return on investment (ROI).
The result is that it’s incredibly difficult or impossible for marketers to track the return on investment for a particular campaign or channel, or to personalise their marketing message accordingly. What Freespee brings to the table is an effort to consolidate this conversation data to give brands the full conversational commerce picture.
As an example, a prospective customer may visit a carmaker’s mobile website, look at a few models, and actually end up booking a test drive over the phone and via click-to-call. However, without tracking the customer from one conversation channel to another, the problem of re-targeting arises, which means they’re going to see ads prompting them to book a test drive when they already have done so when in fact, a different ad or message would work better.
To that end, Freespee counts major brands such as Allianz, Lloyds, eBay, Bupa, Marriott Hotels and Peugeot, as customers. Holmquist added,
By working with Ventech and our other investors, new and old, we will continue to pioneer new ways to allow our customers to monitor, manage and personalise the experience of every conversation taking place through their desktop web, mobile web and apps.
Now, the company claims to work with multinational enterprise brands across the world in 50 countries, as well as recruiting a team of over 50 people.