Online tech support company, 24/7 Techies, has raised a $600,000 seed round led by Dave McClure’s 500 Startups to accelerate its offerings for small and medium sized businesses. Other notable investors in the round include Rajan Anandan (VP Google India) and Shailesh Rao (VP Twitter, International Operations). Since launching a dedicated micro SMB offering in April this year, the company says it has more than 100 customers for the new service and is seeing month-over-month growth of 20 percent.
CEO Dilendra Wimalasekere says the funding is largely ear-marked for sales and marketing to ramp up customer acquisition: “It’s going to be predominantly used to ramp up our sales and marketing activity — and also grow some of our information systems, reorganisation and grow the support team.”
24/7 Techies uses an online service model to deliver fully managed, remote tech support for its customers around the clock and around the globe from its location in Sri Lanka — and says it distinguishes itself from other tech service providers (such as Geek Squad, and other locally managed service providers) through cheaper prices but also by offering a more extensive range of services — including “CIO style” consultancy and advisory services for SMBs.
Wimalasekere claims 24/7 Techies’ SMB offering — pricing starts at $99 per month for a micro SMB with one to three employees — can undercut rivals by as much as 50 percent. The company promises customers access to a trained tech support professional within 60 seconds, 24/7, “no exceptions”. Its support services cover more than 100 cloud apps and “any device” — from PCs, to smartphones, tablets and “mission critical servers”. It also claims it has strong customer loyalty — noting it has a Net Promotor Score ”in the 90s”.
24/7 Techies, which currently has 65 staff, was spun out of IT outsourcer Eureka Technology Partners, and initially focused on selling consumer IT support services (still a part of its business). But Wimalasekere tells TechCrunch it noticed that approaching to a fifth of its customers were actually micro SMBs — and realised there was a gap in the market.
Its current focus is on the U.S., Canada, Australia and U.K. markets — around 70 percent of its 8,500+ customers are in the U.S. — but Wimalasekere says it’s looking to expand globally. “We have a few other locations in mind,” he notes.
Further plans to grow the business include broadening its portfolio of SMB services — to offer additional consultancy services, support more cloud apps and bring in additional expertise in areas such as Oracle and Salesforce, he adds.
500 Startups is an early-stage seed fund and incubator program located in Mountain View, CA. They invest primarily in consumer & SMB internet startups, and related web infrastructure services. Their initial investment size is typically $25K-$250K. Selected areas of interest include financial services & e-commerce, search/social/mobile platforms, personal & business productivity, education & language, family & healthcare and web infrastructure.