As email becomes an increasingly clogged communication mechanism, businesses looking for more direct ways to communicate with their customers in a B2B context have been turning to Slack, Microsoft Teams, Discord and other channels. But tracking those conversations and making sure they get directed to the right people is challenging for businesses.
That’s where Pylon, an early-stage startup, comes in. It helps companies manage, prioritize and direct messages from these channels to the right people, even working with tools like Zendesk to create tickets when it makes sense.
Today Pylon announced a $3.2 million seed investment. The company, which launched in November, was also a member of the Winter 2023 Y Combinator cohort.
Company co-founder Marty Kausas says that he and his co-founders, Robert Eng and Advith Chelikani, began observing at their previous jobs that companies were increasingly moving B2B conversations from email to Slack for more direct and personal discussions. At the same time, they saw their companies struggling to manage these conversations.
“Imagine I am a support person, or I’m a salesperson trying to manage all [these conversations]. There’s no way of tracking anything in Slack. And so Pylon comes in, and is essentially the data unlock tool for all your customer conversations that are happening across chat tools,” Kausas told TechCrunch.
For starters, the company is supporting Slack because it has the most external conversations to manage, but it plans to start layering on Microsoft Teams and other channels in the near future.
Pylon can’t get access to internal business conversations as it can’t read DMs and only has access to the channels that you as the customer identify for monitoring. One early customer, Hightouch, is using Pylon to monitor more than 300 shared customer channels, according to Kausas.
The company closed the funding deal in March and has added two employees since for a total of five, including the founders, with plans to reach close to 10 by the end of the year. They plan on adding a couple of more engineering and business development job openings in the coming months. He says that diversity is definitely a focus, and the company is looking for the best people it can find to fill each open role.
In spite of launching in a period of economic uncertainty, Kausas is confident that his company can succeed because he is solving a real problem that customers are having tracking this kind of activity. In fact, he reports that his company is already making money in spite of the fact that it’s only around eight months old.
“So the good news is we’re making money and we have customers who are happy and paying. So at this point, we’re not burning anything, really,” he said.
Today’s $3.2 million seed investment was led by General Catalyst, with participation from Y Combinator, Horizon VC, AirAngels and Comma Capital.