Irish messaging specialist Webio has raised $4 million in funding. The company is looking at doubling its headcount in the next six months to keep pace with demand from the U.K. and Europe.
The Series A funding was led by Finch Capital. The company had earlier raised €1.5 million in a pre-Series A round last year.
Founded in 2016, the platform helps clients in financial services, online retailers and utility companies to communicate with their customers on sensitive subjects such as credit, collections and payments. The shift to online spending has led to an increase in the buy now pay later (BNPL) options, with companies such as Klarna and Afterpay entering the market.
The market for such solutions is expected to reach $3.98 trillion by 2030. Yet, concerns have been raised by consumer organisations about encouraging customers to take on unsustainable debt. This combined with the ongoing economic uncertainty can lead to companies experiencing more late payments, bad debt and pressure on cash flows.
According to the startup, its USP lies in its ability to ‘move the needle’ in predicting conversation outcomes by analysing what is said and how it is said. Webio clients can manage their collections of conversations, too.
Cormac O’Neill, co-founder and chief executive of Webio said: “Conversations about money are stressful and difficult, not only for the customer but also for agents tasked with having these conversations. Going digital means companies can create a whole new set of digital experiences that help customers feel more confident in having those difficult conversations and ultimately, stop them from falling into significant financial difficulty. Webio’s conversational AI is enabling companies to engage with customers in a more empathetic manner, at scale.”
The company is also looking to raise fresh capital to enter new markets in the near future.
“Webio is reimagining the way customer credit conversations take place in the collections industry. This sector is ripe for disruption, its approach to its customers is outdated and it’s an extremely large market which is set for significant growth,” added Mike Brennan of Finch Capital.