Intercom, a startup promising businesses a “fundamentally new” approach to communicating with their customers, has raised $35 million in Series C funding.
Co-founder and CEO Eoghan McCabe (pictured above) said the way that most online companies currently talk to their customers is “totally fucking broken,” with products and teams acting in isolation from one another. That’s why every interaction with a company can feel like you’re starting completely from scratch.
“The net effect is that the customer gets an incredibly disjointed, disconnected and massively impersonal customer experience,” McCabe said. At the same time, “as every business becomes an Internet business, the world expects increasingly personal service.”
The Intercom approach is supposed to be integrated in three important ways. It’s integrated across the company, so that different teams can coordinate with each other; integrated directly into the product, so that you can connect with customers while they’re using your product, rather than later, via email (though you can do that too); and integrated with the data, so you can view all your data about a customer in one place.
So even though the company offers five basic packages (one each for sales, for marketing, for product, for support and one for the whole team), they’re also tied together in one platform. Of course, not every Intercom customer is using every product, but McCabe said 93 percent of them are using more than one — the average is 2.5 products per paying customer.
McCabe also said Intercom, which was founded in 2011, now has 7,000 customers, including General Assembly, ZenPayroll, New Relic and Shopify. Those businesses interact with their own customers a total of 3 million times per day using the company’s tools. And Intercom is giving businesses new ways (beyond open rates and clicks) to measure whether those messages are actually successful.
While Intercom is headquartered in San Francisco, McCabe said all of the company’s research and development happens in Dublin, Ireland. R&D makes up half of Intercom’s headcount, and he said that will remain true as he doubles the size of 140-person company over the next year — it’s important to for Intercom to be “a product-first and a product-oriented company.”
Future plans include more sales and support products and eventually, turning Intercom into a true platform “that other people can build into.”
The company has now raised a total of $66 million. The Series C was led by Iconiq Capital, with participation from past investors The Social + Capital Partnership Bessemer Venture Partners.