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Estonian startup Klaus raises €12 million to scale its AI-based customer support platform

Founded by Estonian fifth unicorn Pipedrive alumni, Estonian startup Klaus is on track to address the customer support industry needs worldwide

Estonian startup Klaus has raised €12Min a Series A funding round led by Acton Capital. The company’s software helps thousands of customer service agents at hundreds of enterprises to improve customer care centers’ quality and consistency. Using AI-automated analysis of 100% of interactions, it leads to focused insights and broad overviews.

Klaus’ previous investors Icebreaker, Creandum, and Global Founders Capital, also joined the current investment round. Tallinn-based startup has found traction with hundreds of global enterprise customers, among them household names such as Glovo, SoundCloud, and Epic Games. The new funding will go toward further developing the core product while growing sales and marketing teams will bring Klaus more customers around the globe.

“The Series A funding means we can now scale our growth to the next level,” says Martin Kõiva, co-founder and CEO of Klaus. “To do that, we are seeking the best sales and marketing talent as well as adding to our team of PhD’d, data-science aces. We hope to almost double our team in the next six months.”

Kõiva is an alumnus of Pipedrive, where he led the company’s customer support team. There he realised the best way to prevent bad customer interactions is to analyse previous ones, give agents regular check-ins and not rely too strictly on customer feedback. But he couldn’t implement these practices at scale because the tools didn’t exist. So in 2017, he teamed up with two co-founders (also ex-Pipedrive employees) to build Klaus.

Why is customer service such a big thing? In a study commissioned by Microsoft, it was found that 95% of consumers say that customer service is important for brand loyalty, and more than 60% report having deserted a brand due to poor service. When customer reviews are important for sales, the business impact of poor service can be devastating. In large enterprises with omnichannel contact centres, it is not unusual to have 2,000 or more agents handling over a million conversations per month, making it nearly impossible to gain an overview of these interactions. Manual review processes can waste time if they scrutinise even one-tenth of 1% of total interactions.

To understand the scale better, one could also consider this stat. Contact Center Software Market is set to reach $165B in market size by 2030, growing swiftly at 21% yearly, according to a study by Straits Research.

Klaus’s software integrates with all the most popular contact centre platforms, including Zendesk, Salesforce, and Intercom. It pulls in every text and audio customer interaction, considers dozens of factors that are likely to be problematic, and finds all the outlier conversations that need to be looked at in more detail. For example, these dialogues might be longer than average, including a negative tone of voice, or show a customer waiting for a long time. Klaus’s structured feedback enables managers to give practical support to their agents even for the largest customer contact operations.

In addition to solid product and acute market problems, Kõiva also recognises other parts of Klaus’s fundraising success. „In regards to fundraising, the strength for Estonian startups lies in the small, hyperconnected, and collegial ecosystem and also now having strong validation from top VCs. Furthermore, it is possible to learn best practices from peers because there are Estonian startups that have raised money at the highest levels. That, in turn, also means that the cream of the crop in the VC world already knows and trusts the Estonian ecosystem, which creates a flywheel effect and attracts even more top investors here,” he says.

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