Paris-based Aircall, a cloud-based phone system and call centre platform, announced that it has raised $120M (approx €100.5M) in its Series D round of funding. And with this development, the company has now earned the title of a unicorn as its now valued at over $1B (approx €837.44M). The company has raised over $226M (approx €189.26M) in funding to date.
Investors in this round
The round was led by Goldman Sachs Asset Management. In addition, the funding was also joined by most of Aircall’s current investors, including DTCP, eFounders, Draper Esprit, Adams Street Partners, NextWorld Capital, and Gaia Capital Partners.
Christian Resch, Managing Director at Goldman Sachs, says, “The past 12 months have been a catalyst for Aircall’s cloud-based SaaS communication solution. In a hybrid work environment, users are looking to Aircall to provide an easy to use experience that is highly integrated into their workflows, thereby making the most out of every customer interaction. We are very excited to partner with Aircall, as the company looks to accelerate its growth and expand globally.”
The Aircall story
Founded in 2014 by Jonathan Anguelov, Olivier Pailhès, Xavier Durand, and Pierre-Baptiste Béchu, the idea for Aircall was born at the eFounders studio in Paris. Recognising that a telephone system is complex and expensive to set up, the co-founders set themselves the challenge of revolutionising corporate telephony.
Olivier Pailhès mentions in a blog post, “When we started Aircall in 2014, the phone was seen as a legacy business technology. But where others saw old-fashioned, we saw opportunity. Here’s a tool every business needs to communicate with prospects, customers, and colleagues. If we could connect the phone with other modern, essential tools, we could help businesses work smarter and simpler.”
In just a few weeks, they built the first version of Aircall. As they realised the potential of their idea, the four entrepreneurs started facing technical and operational challenges. However, a year later, after completing 500 startup’s 2015 batch in San Francisco, the four founders raised $2.75M to make their project a reality. In 5 months, the team grew from 5 to 15 people and the turnover tripled.
Pailhès adds, “Over the past year, we’ve seen a rise in both remote workforce adoption and customers’ expectations from the brands they do business with. Aircall’s cloud-based phone solution helps businesses meet these new objectives with better data visibility into team performance and call data, while also providing a flexible, user-friendly solution.”
Cloud call centre solution for sales and support teams
Aircall syncs data and workflows with all the communication and tracking tools modern companies use, such as Salesforce, HubSpot, Zendesk, and Slack, among others. This allows businesses to streamline workflows, providing more efficiency for their teams with better visibility, data and insights into their customers’ needs and their teams’ performances.
The company claims it was built to empower any professional to have better conversations, and to allow the phone channel to be accessible, transparent, and collaborative.
For the past year, despite the pandemic, Aircall witnessed record-breaking growth across its business. The company saw more than 65 per cent total customer growth year-over-year, and now has more than 8,500 customers worldwide.
Aircall reported that its development relies strongly on internationalisation, with more than a third of revenue generated in the US. With offices in New York, Paris, Sydney and Madrid, Aircall recently passed the 450 employee mark.
Speaking about future development, Olivier Pailhès, co-founder of Aircall, said, “For businesses to better connect with their customers, they need to extract more value from conversations: call analytics, conversational context, and speech recognition. These are all coming up next in our product roadmap to deliver rich and insightful moments between our customers and theirs.”
The proceeds from this round will help Aircall to invest in its app, specifically with new integrations covering all use cases, from e-commerce to financial services, sales, support, etc. Aircall says it will improve its technology with new AI capabilities, additional productivity features for call centres such as transcription & speech analytics for greater depth of productivity features for sales and support.
Besides, Aircall will also enhance global infrastructure capacities by providing additional points of presence to support the local usage and local storage of data.
Additionally, the company is also looking to expand its European presence, including new London and Berlin offices, by the end of 2021. And with the expansion, the company plans to recruit more than 260 new employees by the end of the year.
Olivier Pailhes adds, “Since the beginning of Aircall, we’ve helped thousands of companies to enrich their customer experience through voice channels, with more empathy than ever in the past year. We also witnessed an increasing demand for visibility and data about teams and performances. Now that hybrid, on-site or remote teams are likely here to stay, we’ll continue to work to achieve our vision, and empower every professional to have richer conversations. With that in mind, the investment by Goldman Sachs and the renewed trust of our current investors validates this vision.”