Zowie’s no-code, e-commerce customer support platform is backed by Gradient and 10xFounders

Returns, refunds, and quality control inquiries are among the most common types of customer service requests. Not only are they tedious, but they also leave little time for more sophisticated demands, such as transmitting product information or assisting a client in finding the best product for them.

Zowie co-founders Maja Schaefer and Matt Ciolek think that much of that monotonous labour can be automated. They started the firm in 2019, combining their product development and customer survey knowledge from working with an e-commerce startup.

“We found that prior solutions were not solving customer service since their installation was so difficult,” CEO Schaefer told. “It would take months to put in place and then be difficult to sustain.”

They presented chatbots to a customer as a repeatable work solution, and after being charged with constructing them in a couple of weeks, they came up with the concept for Zowie.

It’s not new to use AI-powered chatbots for customer assistance. Companies like Forethought, Heyday, Cognigy, Landbot, and Heyflow have all announced financing in this field in the last year.

Some rivals, however, need the organisation to enter replies and other process information into the application, according to Schaefer. Instead, Zowie’s Zowie X1 technology automates request procedures that are customised to a product or brand from the start. In minutes, the firm can analyse data and inform a client what proportion of support requests Zowie can handle, which may be as high as 50%.

According to Schaefer, chatbots free up around two hours each day per agent, allowing them to take on queries that the chatbot doesn’t answer, manage more sophisticated problems, and convert more assistance into sales. Customers may generate up to 45 percent more revenue on average, she claimed.

After seeing its sales triple between 2020 and 2021, the firm opted to raise $5 million in a seed round led by Gradient Ventures and 10xFounders, with participation from Lattice CEO Jack Altman, Giesswein CEO Markus Giesswein and returning investor Inovo Venture Partners.

Giesswein, Zendesk, Shopify, and Gorgias are among the company’s approximately 100 clients. She plans to spend the money on product development, marketing, and sales, as well as expanding the commercial staff in the US and throughout North America. Zowie now employs 36 people, with plans to expand that number this year.

Automation across as many channels as possible, from websites to email to Whatsapp, is one of the product features the firm is trying to enhance, as is the ability for salespeople to travel through the client experience.

Gradient Ventures managing partner Darian Shirazi says his firm was drawn to Zowie in part because of the company’s rapid sales growth and the business that the founders are establishing.

“One of the differentiations we saw when looking at Zowie was that it was the first AI chatbot for e-commerce that generates your knowledge base,” he said. “Others have to provide the knowledge base to answer the questions, and some companies don’t have time to do that. We’d been looking in the chatbot space, and no one has done it well for e-commerce, which is a massive vertical.”