Just about everyone can benefit from an extra ear listening in at the right time. And while an ear dedicated to helping me remember the items my housemate asked me to pickup at the store last week has yet to be commercialized into a startup, Chorus.ai is riffing off the concept to deliver a solution to help sales teams close more deals. The Chorus team is announcing a $16 million Series A today led by Redpoint.
Taking a page from companies like Cogito and Deepgram, Chorus.ai is first and foremost a system for extracting insights from audio. But unlike Cogito that got its start servicing call centers, Chorus.ai is setting its sights on sales.
In the style of X.ai, Chorus simply joins conference calls, in the same way a human would, to record and transcribe content in real-time. The platform flags important action items and topics that came up over the duration of calls.
“We have invested in algorithms that are tuned to sales, but even some simple keyword matching adds a lot of value,” explains Roy Raanani, co-founder and CEO of Chorus.ai.
The platform that the Chorus team built broadly serves two functions. Because it transcribes calls, it serves as a valuable reference for sales reps when completing follow-ups on action items. But Chorus can also add enterprise value by acting as a training ground for reps to share best practices and closing strategies.
Chorus.ai is the latest example of an AI startup finding vitality through verticalization. Though Raanani was careful not to commit to any numbers, he explained that Chorus is likely better than products like IBM’s Watson at the specialized task of sales support.
Intuitively, mastery of general speech recognition is a harder task than mastery of language commonly used in the domain of sales. Even today, with speech recognition mostly a solved problem, many systems still struggle to parse the complexities (or lack there of) in the speech of young children for example.
In just four months, the company transitioned through the gears of a seed stage startup. Its first institutional round, led by Emergence Capital, who also participated in today’s round, closed in October of last year for $6.3 million. All the while Raanani, and his co-founder Micha Breakstone, continued polishing off the Chorus platform. The team built out key integrations with a number of meeting and support platforms like Zoom, BlueJeans, WebEX and Salesforce. And they closed customers like Qualtrics and Marketo.
In the future, Raanani and his team want to double down on the real-time advantage of the Chorus platform. The idea being that sales reps pitching to potential clients could leverage the speed of machines to pull up content in real-time to help close deals. If a customer on the phone references a competitor, Chorus could flash an informational aid on screen with known differentiators and past successful pitches to give the sales rep a smarter ace card.