iAdvize raises 32 million euros. And tomorrow?

Here we are, seven years down the road and the online customer experience is now conversational. Worldwide, companies are taking part in this transformation and iAdvize is at their side in this process.
To achieve this, iAdvize is growing. We are delighted to announce this investment of 32 million euros!
It’s a great opportunity to take stock and share our vision with you. But first of all, I would like to thank all those who are part of the adventure; the 200 people on the team but also our clients who have trusted us and continue to innovate with us.

2010

We founded iAdvize with a strong conviction; online customer service was too impersonal and desperately needed a human touch
Back then, eCommerce was pretty soulless and customer journeys were standardised. Service was perceived as a mere cost centre and reducing the volume of contacts was an open objective. But undeniably, visitors had doubts and questions. We’re human after all.
This was and still is our raison d’être. We were a bunch of starry-eyed entrepreneurs and decided to go against the tide, to show that human relations are not only relevant in online customer service but also the key to its future. 

2017

Chat has become messaging. And it is universal. All messaging applications combined are made up of five billion monthly users. Millennials and baby-boomers alike are adepts because at the heart of messaging is the ultimate form of communication: conversation.

Companies are radically changing their approach. For a long time, they were focused on advertising. This was understandable as the eCommerce landscape was less structured and online shoppers less active.

That time has passed. Internet users are now over-exposed, constantly interrupted by intrusive advertising messages. Not only are they no longer clicking on the ad banners the clickthrough rate is less than 0,1% ! they are now fighting actively against these intrusions with the adoption of ad blockers (32% of people use ad blockers in US, increasing +34% every year). What they expect from brands today is an authentic, personalised relationship. 

Messaging meets these expectations. Our experience, working with more than 600 brands in 60 countries proves this every day. The millions of contacts generated for our clients meet fundamental service needs, with satisfaction rates that fly high above 90%.

By making the customer experience less impersonal, by connecting human experiences, this year we generated 1 billion euros of turnover for these brands. The conversion rate of a conversational experience is 10 times higher than with self-service.
We reconcile two worlds: on the one hand, the world of customers who do not want to be reduced to credit card numbers, and on the other, the world of companies, whose aim is also to maximise profitability. It is about time to invest in relationships with the customer and Forrester predicts that 3 billion dollars of interruptive advertising budget will be reassigned next year to a conversational experience.

And tomorrow?

We’ve just raised 32 million euros to become world leader in Conversational Marketing. We will grow from 200 to 450 employees before the end of 2020 in Europe and in the United States and will continue to accompany, with increasing engagement companies in this conversational transformation.

Complex interfaces will disappear and will be replaced by simple and authentic conversational experiences.

Online shopping was born more than 20 years ago. And since then, we’ve been searching, browsing websites, viewing and comparing product pages, completing complex, multi-stage formsTomorrow, these interfaces will disappear in favour of an intuitive, natural conversational experience that doesn’t require a learning process. We know how to construct short sentences from age 2 and at age 6, we know how to read and write. 
Players like Facebook Messenger and Amazon Echo offer a new path that brings the focus back to the customer. This path keeps the promise of conversation. We can not make the same mistakes. This experience must have a soul. It must be authentic, it must be more human.  
We will be at the heart of this transition and will enable companies to provide their customers with the best conversational experience.

Companies that are able to face the ubiquity challenge will survive.

Survival is about being able to adapt to an evolving environment. Tomorrow, the leading companies will be those who have succeeded in their conversational transformation.  
At iAdvize, we talk about the ubiquity challenge: being everywhere, at the same time, all the time to detect, engage and respond to conversation opportunities.
Our conversational marketing platform helps companies to rise to this challenge. iAdvize covers all touch points that brands use, whether on their website or via applications. And we will continue to integrate all channels that customers adopt on a large scale. 
The following question arises: faced with the massive adoption of messaging, how will brands handle the billions of contact opportunities that come their way? The solution resides in the ability to target the contact opportunities that are in line with their strategy. This is what iAdvize does thanks to its predictive targeting technology. Companies can anticipate and engage the right opportunities. This is how we guarantee them qualitative and quantitative control over the conversations they have.  

We need to connect human experiences.

ibbü is our community of paid experts, who are available to interact with a brand’s online visitors 24/7. They are selected to share their authentic advice, product knowledge and experience.
Launching ibbü was a real bet, we didn’t expect such a positive response. More than 12,000 people requested to join the community in Europe. Today, 300 of them advise users, in 5 languages, 7 days a week and generate 1 million euros in sales every week for European brands. 
People who are passionate about something have always enjoyed sharing their opinion online and, for the first time, iAdvize gives them the opportunity to share this value with brands. We enable them to gain some significant extra revenue whenever they have some free time, from wherever they like, talking about topics that they’re passionate about. On average, ibbü experts earn 150 euros per week. 

The future does not belong to robots but to humans.

The first chatbots appeared in the sixties. Virtual agents developed significantly in the nineties and from 2000 onwards. In 2016, Facebook announced the arrival of chatbots within its Messenger platform. Reacting to this announcement, an entire ecosystem has emerged around the following promise: the automation of customer service with the advent of intelligent chatbots.
However, who today can claim to have had a superior customer experience with a robot? It doesn’t exist. 
Our vision is that we have to combine human and artificial intelligence.  Entrust repetitive questions that have little added value to machines and increase human capacities so that they can provide their expertise and authenticity more efficiently. 
iAdvize is designed to empower this alliance between human and AI. Today, it’s Smart Answers*: suggestions of automatic answers that enable agents to draw from knowledge, constantly updated as new conversations between the brand and customers take place. It’s also the Bot Builder**: the possibility for agents to gain quick understanding of the customer’s context thanks to the pre-qualification of needs and expectations by a bot.
And tomorrow? We will push the limits of this alliance between humans and AI to connect the experiences of millions of people, worldwide. For these experiences to become increasingly smooth and worthwhile, they need to focus on emotion and authenticity. This is where their value lies, for companies and their customers. 
This is the vision that drives us and that we will continue to embody.

(*) Smart Answers is a feature available in beta on iAdvize
(**) Bot Builder is a feature available in private beta on iAdvize
Julien Hervouët

CEO and founder of iAdvize

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