Investment Notes

Investment Notes: TheLoops

We are thrilled to be investing in TheLoops' Seed round. TheLoops is an intelligent support operations platform that provides rich context and team collaboration to resolve tickets faster, providing a superior customer experience.

Wendell Keuneman

24 Jun 2021 · 4 min read

The Loops platform stitches data from diverse tools to help reps identify customer issues with contextual insights and recommend resolutions or actions.

The Tidal team recently made an investment into TheLoops, and we're publishing our investment notes below. We invest across a range of markets, models and products. There are core principles that we live and die by in our investment decisions. For more information on the pillars that make a great Tidal Seed Investment, see how we invest here.

Markets with tailwinds

For many companies the load on customer support has increased significantly due to a number of factors including a wider push to self-serve, reduction of bricks & mortar presence, number of contact channels (phone, email, chat, social etc), and more recently due to pandemic induced work from home conditions.

This acceleration of digital transformation strategies has led to increased volumes that overwhelm customer support operations. The current resolution methods lack the tools to give adequate signals to agents to understand the customer issue thus burning precious time to get to a resolution.

The Future of CX

Traditionally, support representatives have not been empowered to own the resolution process. But having an intelligent customer support strategy that bring context, collaboration and workflows by harnessing data across a range of systems reaps huge benefits such as increased sales conversions, decreased service costs, and improved customer satisfaction.

Companies recognise that leveraging automation and analytics is the best approach to reducing handle time thus securing the life-time value of their customers.

Products that change the game

TheLoops brings observability capabilities to front office teams and can truly provide a step change in the customer support experience by accelerating a collaborative path to ticket resolution. The product aspires to be:

A data and analytics learning engine with point-and-click integrations providing insights and collaborative process flows to improve the support team’s efficacy.

Support operations span multiple levels and often sit across support and product teams. However information silos exist where front office teams have not had the same instrumentation as product or engineering teams. This often results in increased handle-time, unnecessary escalations and decrease in agent efficiency.

Our thesis: by empowering front office teams with similar observability capabilities as back office teams, TheLoops will unlock material improvements in CX by transitioning companies from thinking about customer touch points as a cost centres to growth drivers.

It's very clear that the co-founders of TheLoops understood the importance of storytelling through demos as they provided a complete end to end portrayal of how they will positively impact the customer experience with their intelligent support platform.

Founders that hustle

Somya Kapoor and Ravi Bulusu are accomplished operators spanning product and engineering. They truly embody a product-led dynamic founder duo. Their experience spans decades of senior leadership experience in high growth companies giving them deep domain expertise in the customer service and support space. Somya was a VP of Product at ServiceNow and SAP and makes a capable CEO with product chops. Ravi met Somya at a previous startup, forging a strong working collaboration which led to genesis of TheLoops. Ravi was also Chief Architect at Splunk and had multiple startup roles building state-of-the art ML platforms. Their shared learnings through all of these past roles led them to the realisation that bringing product context to support teams will have significant benefits. Together they make a killer combination and they are the right team to solve the problem.

Ravi Bulusu & Somya Kapoor at their new San Jose headquarters (they're hiring).

Ravi Bulusu & Somya Kapoor at their new San Jose headquarters (they're hiring).

A compelling business model

TheLoops straightforward subscription business model aligns well with the participants that benefit from the improved interactions their platform offers:

  • Team plans help agents or reps have contextual insights right inside the support tools they current use today rather than having to switch. This includes Zendesk for Service, Salesforce Service Cloud, Atlassian Jira or Intercom.
  • No-code or low-code connectors to key tools in the product stack such as Splunk, Amplitude, Pager Duty, Pendo, Kibana, CloudWatch and much more, pulls in all the data to stitch and synthesise the insights.
  • Workflows help make escalations simple by seamlessly bridging systems and providing the same context to all parties so everyone is on the same page. This applies to helpdesks like ZenDesk, issue trackers like Jira or group chat like Slack, it's about keeping the context in the systems that these teams work in.

Intelligent customer support is just the initial offering for TheLoops. There will be more exciting news on the horizon as they progress their platform roadmap.

The seed phase

TheLoops sits firmly within the Seed phase - and the team is currently rolling out their platform to several well known customers, hiring an awesome US-based team, and developing many patterns from the machine learning engine that will benefit all their customers in turn serving their users better than before.

We are delighted to be partner with Somya and Ravi to bring a step change to customer support interactions for the better. Stay tuned for updates on their website (they're hiring), Twitter, and LinkedIn.

A note on the observability thematic

Observability stems from engineering and control theory; it is a measure of how well internal states of system can be inferred from knowledge of its external outputs. In a highly distributed cloud architecture your ability to predict failures is limited. Therefore the solution is observability (vs monitoring) which attempts to pull together Metrics, Events, Logs, and Traces to provide granular insights and to answer why a system may have failed.

These systems are now best practices and part of a typical SaaS stack. They assist the "back office" like engineering and product teams to determine the root cause of an issue. But what about the countless issues that originate from the customer facing side? The lack of tooling for the "front office" like customer success or support creates a major bottlenecks in reporting, triaging, and resolving customer reported issues in a timely manner.

Customer Service tools (e.g. CRMs, CDPs, CXPs, Service Desks etc) are not equipped to provide this context, and observability tools are not built for front office teams. However, front and back office teams can each use observability principles to gain a shared understanding of the customer context to streamline the workflow of customer issues, and in turn, vastly improve the customer experience.

The Loops is building this new and exciting platform for the future of CX. If you're a visionary founder who is ready to make waves, please reach out via our website.

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