Conversational commerce has picked up traction in markets such as Asia and Latam but it’s still in its nascent stage in Europe. Brining more personalisation to shopping experiences to boost business success and customer fulfilment, Berlin-based Charles has brought in $20 million in a Series A round led by Salesforce Ventures to boost conversational commerce (c-commerce) as a service platform.
The funding will drive the company’s expansion across Germany and other key European markets to target larger enterprise clients.
Founded in 2020 by Andreas Tussing and Artjem Weissbeck, the platform enables merchants to provide conversational marketing and commerce experiences via chat apps. The conversational-first operating system brings the full e-commerce process into the likes of WhatsApp, bringing consumers and companies closer together. Charles allows businesses to sell products, send newsletters and support customers via chat to personalise the consumer experience. It works by seamlessly connecting chat app APIs like WhatsApp with systems like Salesforce and Shopify.
Artjem Weissbeck, co-founder and co-CEO at Charles, said: “We aim to make commerce more personal by bringing it into our most human habit: conversations. Rich messaging apps, like WhatsApp, have been proven to facilitate this in Latin America and Asia by combining sales, marketing and service in one ongoing conversation. This is something e-commerce has failed to do due to the forced marriage of web shops and email. Conversational commerce is now sweeping over Europe and there’s never been a better way for brands to wow their customers.”
According to the company, many customers have hit 7-digit WhatsApp revenues in 2022 and the platform has also been driving 10-40% of their sales via chat.
Andreas Tussing, co-founder and co-CEO at Charles, added: “We see c-commerce becoming a secret weapon for many brands in times where they must go the extra mile to win new customers and nurture existing ones.”
Nowi Kallen, managing director at Salesforce Ventures, added: “Charles is driving better experiences for consumers and better outcomes for merchants resulting in higher engagement, higher sales and lower customer acquisition costs.”