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Customer service is everything: all it takes is one bad experience with a company for customers to take their business elsewhere. 

This means that companies must be on point with digital customer interactions, according to Cyara CEO and cofounder Alok Kulkarni, making automated customer experience (CX) and contact center testing essential. 

Cyara, which today announced it secured $350 million in funding, looks to optimize the shift to automated CX by testing omnichannel customer journeys and their various transition points. These techniques include functional, regression and load performance testing, whether the customer contacts the company via phone, web, web chat, SMS, email, or other channels. 

What makes Cyara different?

Founded in 2006 by Kulkarni, Bonny Malik, and Luan Tran, the Redwood City, California-based Cyara claims to differentiate itself with its Automated CX Assurance Platform. This platform aims to assure and enhance omnichannel customer experiences by accelerating CX testing, improving quality, and reducing risk of defects impacting end users, Kulkarni told VentureBeat. 

Other companies in the rapidly growing contact testing market include globalCX, Occam, and Klearcom. According to Forrester estimates, the market will reach $2.4 billion by 2024. This growth has been fueled not only by accelerated cloud migrations, but adoption of DevOps strategies, deployment of new innovations, and a boom in ecommerce. The pandemic has also increased the need to bring more innovation into customer experience and engagement, Kulkarni said. 

Testing CX at scale

Oftentimes, companies attempt to perform local, in-house testing by “just throwing people at it,” Kulkarni said, but manual testing is difficult to scale, measure, and replicate. It’s also not as fast or precise as automated testing. With more end users doing business with and contacting companies digitally, it is essential to keep pace with demand and not lose customers when making the shift to CX. Any transitions in CX capabilities must be seamless and work well for the end user. 

Underscoring that, PricewaterhouseCoopers reports that 32% of customers may abandon a company after just one negative experience.

“It’s really not an option for businesses not to have a digital engagement strategy,” Kulkarni said. This not only makes for better customer service and overall customer experiences, but it enables companies to accelerate innovations elsewhere.

“When companies look at automation, the return on investment is great, the payback period is quick,” Kulkarni continued. “You can apply resources to other areas to do things that are harder, rather than doing tasks that are mundane.” 

Leveraging capabilities such as predictive analytics and AI, Kulkarni said, can help companies detect issues, identify their root causes, and proactively address and prevent them. And because the market is experiencing such rapid expansion and heavy investment, he stressed the importance of recruiting more talent. 

Cyara says its proprietary SaaS platform performs monitoring and testing of call routing, voice quality and biometrics, speed, load performance, agent handoff and agent desktop, and global in-country dialing. Its testing management can be integrated into third-party tools, and problems are troubleshot in real-time. The company touts that its technology as comprehensive, easy to use, and provides maximum automation around testing and monitoring. The result, Kulkarni said, is faster time-to-market, faster time per test, and increased test quality. 

The platform is used by blue chip companies including Oracle, AT&T, Blue Cross Blue Shield, and eBay, as well as roughly 250 other top-rated global companies, notably in the technology and insurance spaces.

Cyara lands funding to expand and innovate 

Bolstering its success, Cyara today announced that it has received more than $350 million in funding from K1 Investment Management (K1). K1 joins Cyara’s long-term investors PeakSpan and Greenspring Associates. 

According to Kulkarni, the new investment will help Cyara pursue its growth plan and expansion into international markets. It will also support and accelerate its product innovation, expansion of its CX assurance tools into emerging digital channels, and its strategic acquisitions of complementary technologies.

“Organizations can succeed or fail based on their customer experience,” Kulkarni said. “More and more companies are realizing the business-critical nature of the work we do, and we’re excited to have the firepower to grow and continue to attract the best people globally. We’re at the beginning of a very exciting new chapter.”

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