Montreal-based Heyday announced today that it has raised $6.5 million Canadian ($5.1 million in US dollars) in additional seed funding.
Co-founder and CEO Steve Desjarlais told me that the startup's goal is to allow retailers to support more automation and more personalization in their online customer interactions, while co-founder and CMO Etienne Merineau described it as an “all-in-one unified customer messaging platform.”
So whether a customer is sending a message from Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and Google’s Business Messages or just via email, Heyday brings all that communication together in one dashboard. It then uses artificial intelligence to determine whether it's a customer service or sales-related interaction, and it automates basic responses when possible.
Heyday chatbots can provide order updates or even recommend products (it integrates with Salesforce, Shopify, Magento, Lightspeed and PrestaShop), then route the conversation to a human team member when necessary.
There are other platforms that combine customer service and sales, but at the same time, Merineau said it's important to treat the two categories as distinct and trust that a good service experience will lead to sales in the feature.
“We believe that helping is the new selling,” he said.
Desjarlais added, “We’re really against the ticket ID system. A customer is not a ticket …
I truly believe that every single customer is a relationship with a brand that needs to be nurtured over time and that will give more value to the brand over time.”
Heyday was founded in 2017 and says that over the past two quarters, it has doubled recurring revenue. Customers include French sporting good company Decathlon, Danish fashion house Bestseller to food and consumer product brand Dannon — Merineau noted that the platform was “bilingual out of the box” and has seen strong international growth.
“Retailers who believe that [the changes brought about by] COVID-19 are temporary are in the wrong mindset,” he said. “The new mantra of future-forward brands is ‘adapt or die.' … Brands obviously want to delvier great service, but they care about the bottom line. We help them kill two birds with one stone.”
The startup had previously raised $2 million Canadian, according to Crunchbase. This new round comes from existing investors Innovobot and Desjardins Capital. Merineau said the money will help Heyday “double down on the U.S. and scale.”