Topbox raises $5M for its customer experience analytics service

Topbox helps businesses understand how their customers experience their products and where they run into issues by analyzing voice and text chats to surveys, social media posts and online reviews. Today, the company announced it has raised a $5 million funding round led by Telescope Partners, with participation from Cascade Angels, Flyover Capital and the Maryland Venture Fund.

Topbox CEO Chris Tranquill told me he first experienced the problem he’s trying to solve when he was running call centers with thousands of agents. All of the companies that contracted his services faced the same problem: understanding the friction points their customers were experiencing.

“We always had this vision that being able to really understand those friction points with deep context — that’s what the key is — but really getting to that granular level of detail so that you can have that context to support a decision,” Tranquill said. Say you want to understand what issues customers are having with a new shoe. Ideally, Topbox will aggregate all of the data across all channels about that shoe and help the company understand who the wearers are and what issues they are experiencing.

Theoretically, companies could do this on their own, but all of this data exists in various silos and combining those disparate data sets is a major challenge. Topbox uses its technology to ingest this data (and it’s pretty agnostic about where it comes from) and then runs it through its classification models. Indeed, as Tranquill told me, it’s this model that’s the secret sauce behind the company’s ability to classify data.

It’s not just about getting a high-level overview of your customer’s reactions, though. Tranquill stressed that users can go deeper. “The big thing for us is granularity,” he told me. “I can find high-level data all day long, but can I find the root cause?” With a few clicks, any Topbox user should be able to understand what issues their customers are facing, no matter whether that’s a product issue, a shipping problem or something else.

Current Topbox customers include the likes of Orvis, Bed Bath & Beyond and Western Union. With this new round, Topbox expects to build out its go-to-market strategy and continue to develop its product. Currently, the company focuses on a number of verticals where its model works best (retailers, mobile telcos, cable and broadband providers and healthcare companies), and Tranquill tells me this is where it will focus its energy for now. The company will also soon launch a new user interface and bring on more machine learning experts as it looks to provide its users deeper insights into their data.