Companies are under increasing pressure to automate workflows and digitally service their employees, particularly in light of trends toward remote work. It takes an average of 24.2 hours to provide a first response to an internal support ticket, a survey conducted by Zendesk found, and internal support teams receive an average of 492 tickets per month. That’s likely why an estimated 25% of service operations integrate virtual assistant or chatbot technologies across their engagement channels, up from less than 2% in 2017, according to Gartner.
But Christian Eggert believes chatbots are only the tip of the iceberg. He’s the cofounder of Back Technologies, an employee service platform that today closed a $3.3 million seed round. The company aims to cut down on the repetitive requests and questions that suck up hours of human resource (HR), IT, legal, finance, and IT teams’ time.
Back Technologies’ platform, Back, integrates with email and Slack to allow employees to reach out using their preferred messaging channel. A shared inbox enables experts to manage, track, and respond to requests in a centralized place, and to send updates via the apps employees used to create their requests.
Back automatically answers frequently asked questions that don’t require experts’ involvement, and it tracks and shows the time team members spend on resolving requests, delivering insights to improve internal processes. It also connects to knowledge management and HR systems like Confluence, Bamboo, and Personio to surface data like email addresses, locations, and roles, and it lets admins send employees predefined questions to retrieve information for record-keeping.
Back Technologies has quite a few rivals in the back-office automation segment — many of which are backed by tens of millions in venture financing. In July 2019, Employment Hero, a Sydney, Australia-based startup developing a software platform that aims to simplify onboarding, raised over $15 million. And last March, Tel Aviv-based Hibob nabbed $20 million to modernize HR with its digital tools.
But 15-employee Back Technologies has already secured contracts from the likes of SoundCloud, Choco, Marley Spoon, Personio, and Statista, which are leveraging its platform to serve employees and help their teams work more efficiently. In a statement, Marley Spoon people operations manager Laura Christenhuß said Back reduced the company’s internal response time to within a day and resolution times by 71% on average.
The funding closed this week was led by La Famiglia with participation from Gradient Ventures (Google’s AI-focused venture fund), Point Nine Capital, Seedcamp, and angel investors including former Microsoft head of corporate strategy Charles Songhurst, former Orange board member Matthias Hilpert, Eventbrite founder Renaud Visage, and the founders of Tourlane and Personio. Berlin-based Back Technologies plans to use it to grow its market presence in the U.S. while also expanding across Europe and hiring new talent for engineering, marketing, and sales roles.
“The last few months just showed a glimpse of the changes that will happen to the way people will work in the future,” Eggert told VentureBeat via email. “Collaboration and automation has become key to operate in today’s world. With our approach and technology, we’re uniquely positioned to help companies around the world to establish and maintain a human touch with their employees.”
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