Why it’s still only the beginning for conversational marketing: the story behind our investment in Mindsay
tl;dr: we are excited to announce that White Star Capital is leading the $10m Series A of Mindsay (formerly known as Destygo), a European leader in AI-powered conversational marketing software. This marks our third investment in France, following Meero and Klaxoon
The promise of conversational marketing
The conversational marketing industry first emerged a couple of years ago with the idea that bots would replace human beings in the short term, be it to help customers buy online or to answer existing customers’ most frequent questions (interactive FAQ mode).
As the industry is now maturing, AI-powered conversational marketing tools, including chatbots and voicebots, have been assigned a more realistic and hence more marketable target: their purpose is to help human beings focus on human tasks by answering the most standardized, repeat questions from online prospects and customers and to learn from the analysis of large volumes of human conversations. This, according to Gartner, will account for 25% of the global customer support market by 2020, compared to less than 2% in 2017.
Introducing you to Mindsay
Mindsay empowers brands to build better relationships with their past, existing and future customers by leveraging AI. It is built around the idea that AI-enabled self-learning bots are perfectly suited to answer standardized questions from customers. What’s more, Mindsay believes that the most important ability is to be able to distinguish between standard, repeated requests that it should answer itself, and more complex questions which should be handled by a person. These custom questions can then be analyzed ex-post by the bot, which learns from them and improves its answering capacity step by step. Understanding the very moment when the bot needs to allow a human to answer a specific question is one of Mindsay’s key technological breakthroughs, and one that we believe the company’s tech team, led by Pierre, has cracked.
With just €1.2m raised prior to this Series A, Mindsay has worked hard to assemble a team of c.20 exceptional engineers in France. It has proven product-market fit by onboarding 20+ large corporates in the mobility and leisure industries, from airlines (Iberia, Vueling…), airports (Paris Airports, Vinci in Lyon…), trainline operators (RATP, SNCF…), corporate travel (CarlsonWagonlitTravel), amusement parks (Disney), hospitality players and more. For example, read here how Mindsay drastically reduced the number of support tickets for the French national railway company, SNCF. Many chatbots companies around the world have emerged in recent years. Some have raised large amounts of money or have developed custom-type bots through an agency model, but very few have managed to gather such a talent pool, develop a standardized SaaS, and convince dozens of blue-chip corporate clients, across the US and Europe to adopt the technology. Mindsay has very quickly become the AI-powered conversational marketing software, global leader.
Mindsay’s typical added value comes into play when online customers need some guidance along their purchasing journey, whether it is on payment matters or any other inquiry. By providing the right type of information at the right moment, the AI-powered assistant moves customers through the conversion
funnel and helps companies increase their conversion rate. Read here how Mindsay helped Iberia offer a better passenger experience and optimised support.
Following its success in the travel and mobility industries, MindSay will now expand to adjacent B2C areas such as retail.
A top-tier global-minded team with an outstanding product, proven customer traction and a focus on commercial and international expansion is exactly the kind of situation where we, at White Star Capital, know we can help build a global success story.
This is why we led Mindsay’s Series A, alongside our friends at Partech, as well as existing customers Paris Airports and AccorHotels who wanted to consolidate their strategic partnership with the company, We’re incredibly excited about the application of the technology and we look forward to working closely with Mindsay as they continue to scale globally.
About White Star Capital
White Star Capital is a Venture Capital firm that invests in exceptional entrepreneurs building ambitious, international businesses. Based out of London, New York, Montreal, Paris and Tokyo, our presence, perspective and people enable us to partner closely with our Founders to help them scale internationally from Series A onwards .