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Mindsay, the French startup providing companies with personalised one-to-one customer care at scale, has announced a Series A round of €9 million. The round is led by White Star Capital, an international VC, with participation from previous investors Partech and two of Mindsay’s current clients, Paris Aeroports and Accor. As part of this round, Groupe ADP has joined the company’s board, alongside Partech Ventures and Accor.
Founded in 2016, Mindsay has developed a SaaS-based suite of conversational artificial intelligence software (Chatbots & Voicebots). The suite is tailored for major companies to help them automate their large-scale and multi-channel conversational strategy. Conversational assistants built with Mindsay technology are available on their websites, mobile applications or social media interfaces – this includes Facebook, WhatsApp, WeChat, Alexa, and Google Assistant.
Further, Mindsay has answered 12 million messages on behalf of major brands such as Iberia and SNCF and achieved revenue growth of more than 300% YoY. With customers in five different countries, the volume of messages answered by Mindsay is growing at over 20% each month. Over the next 18 months, the company plans to grow from 40 to 120 people in Paris, Madrid and the US to support its expansion.
Mindsay has seen increasing demand for its product across multiple industries but has had significant success working with major travel companies. These include airline giant IAG (British Airways, Iberia, Vueling), airport operators Groupe ADP (operating Paris Airports and 24+ airports globally), rail operators across Europe including RATP, SNCF, Keolis, and Thalys, as well as a global leader in business travel, CWT, and the world leader in amusement parks, Disney.
Having built a solid foundation of clients in the travel and mobility sector, Mindsay is now looking to expand its offering to the retail sector, which also faces similar challenges of increasing consumer demand for fast and convenient brand communication.
The funding will also be used to deploy Mindsay’s reinforcement learning model that allows conversational assistants to improve using real-time conversations, in order to continuously increase the performance of its conversational solutions.
“In a relatively short period of time Mindsay has achieved the two things that we consider essential to a startup’s success. Firstly, combining a leading team of data scientists and machine learning engineers with expertise in the field, and secondly, impressive examples of commercial success with major companies, proving the relevance of its model,” explains Matthieu Lattes, General Partner at White Star Capital.
“With a portfolio of 50 brands including hospitality solutions, we welcome over 1 million guests each day to our hotels. Accor seeks to be agile enough not only to anticipate future changes and customer needs, but also to be at the forefront,” says Thibault Viort, CEO New Businesses at Accor.
“Two years ago, Accor spotted Mindsay as a company that was way ahead of the curve in conversational marketing. Today the company continues to stand out thanks to its dynamic and determined team, its proprietary AI technology and its specialization in the travel industry. We are delighted to see Mindsay grow and to participate once again in this second round of funding”
“Through the creation of self-learning conversational marketing tools (virtual agents), our mission is to provide the most effective and precise answers to the most frequently asked questions from online customers,” explains Guillaume Laporte, CEO of Mindsay. “This improves customer engagement and satisfaction and reduces workload for customer support teams by 80%, allowing customer service teams to focus on complex requests and drive efficiency.”
“With more than 100 million passengers travelling through our airports in 2018, the ADP Group is working daily to improve and personalize our passenger’s experience throughout their journey. In this context, the conversation tool developed by Mindsay, currently being deployed, is a powerful vector for exchanges with our customers, which allows, through our digital tools, privileged and direct access to our airports at any time. This funding will enable Mindsay to accelerate their growth, global expansion and product development within the ADP Group’s airport network in France and abroad. This investment is fully in line with the “Innovation Hub” programme launched in 2017, an initiative aimed at forging strategic partnerships with young innovative companies,” says Edward Arkwright, Executive.
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