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Gong, an AI-based language tool to help sales and customer service reps, nabs $20M

Gong, an AI-based language tool to help sales and customer service reps, nabs $20M
From TechCrunch - July 12, 2017

As artificial intelligence continues its spread into all aspects of computing, many believe that it will be the next big frontier in CRM. Today a startup called Gong.io underscores that trend: the Israeli startup, which has built a tool that uses natural language processing and machine learning to help train and suggest information to sales people and other customer service reps, has raised a $20 million in funding.

The Series A round, which brings the total raised by Gong.io to date to just over $26 millionwas led by previous investorsNorwest Venture Partnersand Shlomo Kramer, the co-founder of CheckPoint Software. New investorsWing Venture CapitalandNextWorld Capital are also in the round.

Amit Bendov, the CEO who co-founded the company with Eilon Reshef (both have track records growing, selling and IPOing startups), said in an interview that the new funding will be used for sales development and bringing on more talent to keep building the product.

The company has been doubling revenues for the last four quarters (he wouldnt disclose the size of those revenues, however) and claims its AI-based solution has contributed to a collective $1 billion in revenues among its customer base, which includesAct-On, SalesLoft, Sisense, Greenhouse, and Zywave.

Were having a great run so far, Bendov said. We recognise a lot of opporutity ahead and will use it to widen the gap and invest more in the product and additional areas. He says that Gong.io is hiring dozens of researchers and engineers in speech, NLP and related areasThe focus is on improving user experience and data science.

Gong.io may have its roots in salesthe Gong in its name is a reference to those gongs that you often hear about or see on sales floors, which get hit whenever someone closes a dealbut Bendov tells me that the product already being used in a variety of scenarios where you have customer service agents talking with people over voice or video calls. About 30 percent of Gong.ios business today comes from outside straight sales and in other areas of CRM. The idea is not to replace salespeople and others, Bendov added, but to help them do their jobs better.

There are a number of tools already out in the market that help salespeople and others in CRM (which includes things as diverse as IT support to people who man beleaguered Twitter accounts) and no shortage of those who are also tapping into the developments in artificial intelligence to improve how they do this.

Gong.ios approach is that its providing multiple levels of help to its users.

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