Irish start-up Webio bags $4m to scale ‘conversational’ AI platform

Dublin-based tech start-up Webio has secured $4m in a Series A funding round to scale its AI-powered customer engagement business.

Webio has developed a ‘conversational’ AI platform that helps companies in the credit, collections and payments space communicate with their customers.

Pitched as a platform that makes ‘difficult’ customer conversations easy and personalised, Webio aims to help credit-based financial services make their customers – who are likely to be in distress due to debt-related issues – feel comfortable without human intervention.

“Conversations about money are stressful and difficult, not only for the customer but also for agents tasked with having these conversations,” said Webio CEO and co-founder Cormac O’Neill.

“Going digital means companies can create a whole new set of digital experiences that help customers feel more confident in having those difficult conversations and ultimately, stop them from falling into unnecessary and significant financial difficulty.”

Founded in 2016, Webio was backed by Enterprise Ireland and EIT in its early stages and now has clients across Ireland, the UK and Europe, including brands such as The Very Group, Studio Retail, Hoist Finance, DCBL, NCO Europe and Anglian Water.

The latest funding round was led by Amsterdam-based Finch Capital, which it will use to invest in its conversational AI and other digital offerings.

It comes almost exactly a year after Webio raised €500,000 in a pre-Series A funding round led by Finch Capital, topping off the investment round at €1.5m.

Webio also has significant expansion ambitions, with plans to triple the company’s R&D team and expand its sales, marketing and customer success teams to meet rising demand in the UK and Europe.

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O’Neill said that the company is growing at a rate of more than 100pc year-on-year, and is targeting to double its headcount within the next 6 months.

“There are very exciting times ahead for us. We are certainly in the right market and at the right time. All I can say is watch this space.”

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