Sales & customer service tech (2024)

Startups for closers and complainers

Last updated: 2 May 2024

Market 101

Sales and customer service tech startups have had a prosperous 2024 so far. Investors’ enthusiasm for this industry owes much to the hype around generative AI and its promises to introduce all kinds of efficiency gains. Remember waiting on hold for an hour to reschedule a flight? That scenario may soon be a thing of the past. With automated chat and call options, startups are helping companies address customer queries around the clock, regardless of opening hours. A standout deal of the year so far is Berlin’s Parloa, which raised a €61.7m Series B from Altimeter Capital in April for its customer service automation tools.

On the sales front, tools that can help track the right metrics, do a little AI magic, automate admin, bring more accuracy to forecasts and provide leaders with insights are attractive buys right now. AI holds the promise of enhancing lead generation and conversion outcomes with its ability to craft decent personalised messages, among other things. Paris-based Catalog, which secured a €3m round earlier this year from Kima Ventures, is using AI to take some admin off the sales team’s plate. Another very practical tool that sales teams love: tech to listen to and transcribe calls, with post-call summaries available to the wider team.

We’ve become used to dealing with bots when ordering stuff online but not everyone loves this development, it has to be said — customer complaints are actually on the rise. In the UK, for example, customer satisfaction levels across all sectors of the economy have seen a record decline, according to data from the Institute of Customer Service. The UK’s Financial Ombudsman Service expects over 181k consumer complaints in 2024-2025, a 10% increase from 2022-2023. People don’t like having to repeat themselves to a bot that can’t understand you. Artificial voices, unless properly humanlike, run the risk of aggravating already irate customers. Training AI to comprehend different accents and dialects is crucial to ensure better customer experiences (UK-based DePoly is worth checking out for its natural-sound AI voices).

With increasing labour shortages, current levels of customer service have become inadequate and sales processes could be enhanced. Whether it's integrating customer service automation or using tech to improve training, there is room for more adoption and startups can expect growing levels of interest. The boom in sales tech, in particular, is partly down to the high pressure on the talent market: the whole world is looking for good sellers but it’s easier to find tech and product people.

Early stage market map

Key facts

30%

of people would pay more for better customer service1

£7.1bn

is the monthly cost to handle customer issues for UK businesses2

28%

is how much of a sales rep’s week is spent actually selling3

Startups tracked by Sifted

Sifted take

Startups solving for customer service and sales are targeting a large market, so in the long term customer adoption should not be a constraint. And it does feel like new tools will remain companions — the Robin to your Batman — as human interaction can never be fully replaced by bots, particularly for complex issues.

Rising stars

Ninetailed

Prospects automations

Total funding

€5.8m

Berlin, Germany
2021

Backed by Cherry Ventures, Mosaic Ventures and First Momentum Ventures, Nintailed is a CMS platform offering personalisation and insights to convert leads more efficiently.

Round

Seed

Valuation

Undisclosed


Date

2022

Size

€5m

Cello

Sales productivity

Total funding

€5.4m

Munich, Germany
2022

Enterprise software startup that helps businesses set up referral programmes. It counts First Momentum Ventures and Notion Capital among its investors.

Round

Seed

Valuation

Undisclosed


Date

2023

Size

€3.1m

Folk.app

CRM solutions

Total funding

€9m

Paris, France
2020

Accel-backed French startup offering businesses a CRM tool to manage deals across various channels with pipeline management and email campaigns.

Round

Seed

Valuation

Undisclosed


Date

2021

Size

€9m

Breyta

CRM solutions

Total funding

€8m

Oslo, Norway
2022

Antler, Peak and SNO Ventures-backed Nordic startup offering customer data and insights for efficient lead conversion.

Round

Seed

Valuation

Undisclosed


Date

2022

Size

€4.5m

Early stage startups to watch

1MillionBot

Alicante, Spain
2018
Seed

1.4m

1.4m

-

506.ai

Linz, Austria
2020
Angel

2.2m

1.2m

-

Acto

Paderborn, Germany
2021
Seed

3.7m

3.7m

-

Analytical Alley

Estonia
2022
Seed

700k

700k

-

Bloobirds

Barcelona, Spain
2019
Early VC

6.3m

3m

-

Breezy

London, United Kingdom
2020
Seed

650k

650k

-

Breyta

Oslo, Norway
2022
Seed

8m

4.5m

-

Bulbshare

London, United Kingdom
2017
Series A

2.1m

2.1m

-

Catalog

Paris, France
2023
Early VC

3m

3m

-

Cauliflower

Hamburg, Germany
2019
Angel

200k

200k

-

Cello

Munich, Germany
2022
Seed

6.3m

4.1m

-

charles

Berlin, Germany
2019
Series A

27.4m

20m

-

Cliezen

Reykjavík, Iceland
2021
Seed

950k

180k

-

Crono

London, United Kingdom
2022
Pre-seed

500k

500k

2.5m

Cue

London, United Kingdom
2022
Seed

2.3m

1.8m

-

Episto

Nantes, France
2018
Early VC

4.1m

2.5m

-

Folk.app

Paris, France
2020
Seed

9m

9m

-

Frontnow

Berlin, Germany
2020
Seed

5.2m

3.8m

-

Genesy AI

Barcelona, Spain
2022
Seed

450k

450k

-

Humanlinker

Paris, France
2020
Seed

3.2m

2.5m

-

Hypertype

Stockholms kommun, Sweden
2021
Seed

1.4m

1.1m

-

Igonogo

Grenoble, France
2021
Seed

350k

350k

-

IndieBI

Sieradz, Poland
2021
Seed

2.7m

2.7m

-

Inventoro

Prague, Czech Republic
2020
Seed

2m

810k

-

Keaz

Berlin, Germany
2023
Seed

600k

600k

-

Keepme

Liverpool, United Kingdom
2018
Seed

1.6m

1.6m

-

Leadzai

Lisbon, Portugal
2017
Early VC

6.7m

5m

-

Learna

London, United Kingdom
2023
Seed

140k

140k

-

Lizee

Paris, France
2019
Series A

9.3m

2m

-

MARA

Karlsruhe, Germany
2020
Seed

150k

150k

-

Mayday

Frontonas, France
2020
Seed

2.5m

2.5m

-

Nintailed

Berlin, Germany
2021
Seed

5.8m

5m

-

Odore

London, United Kingdom
2020
Seed

7m

4.7m

-

Onepilot

Paris, France
2020
Series A

17.5m

15m

-

Outfindo

Prague, Czech Republic
2020
Seed

2.7m

900k

-

Primis

London, United Kingdom
2020
Seed

3

2m

-

Reveal(Formerly Sharework)

Paris, France
2019
Series A

49.1m

45.5m

-

Salesramp

Suresnes, France
2022
Seed

1.2m

1.2m

-

Sidely

Paris, France
2020
Seed

1m

1m

-

Sqwad

Le Blanc-Mesnil, France
2021
Seed

3m

3m

-

Superchat

Berlin, Germany
2020
Series A

18m

13.6m

-

Tactic

London, United Kingdom
2020
Seed

4.1m

4.1m

-

Talkbase

Prague, Czech Republic
2021
Pre-seed

1.8m

1.8m

9.1m

Tellet

Amsterdam, Netherlands
2023
Angel

500k

450k

-

Trumpet

London, United Kingdom
2021
Support Program

1.9m

-

-

Trustmate

Wroclaw, Poland
2018
Series A

4.1m

1.4m

-

Vaam

Stockholms kommun, Sweden
2020
Seed

110k

110k

-

Velaris

London, United Kingdom
2020
Seed

4.7m

4.7m

-

WORKBOUNCE

London, United Kingdom
2021
Seed

2.5m

2.5m

-

Europe’s success stories

Who early stage startups are up against

(Pre-)Seed

SeriesA

SeriesB

SeriesC

SeriesD+

IPO/Exit

French software startup that helps companies set up and manage e-commerce marketplaces. It counts Bain, HSBC and JP Morgan among its investors.

(Pre-)Seed

SeriesA

SeriesB

SeriesC

SeriesD+

IPO/Exit

French CRM startup that helps companies to manage their leads and engage with their customers. It counts PSG and Alto Invest as backers.

(Pre-)Seed

SeriesA

SeriesB

SeriesC

SeriesD+

IPO/Exit

Danish customer service tech startup that counts General Atlantic, Project A and Notion Capital among its investors.

(Pre-)Seed

SeriesA

SeriesB

SeriesC

SeriesD+

IPO/Exit

London-based conversational AI platform for customer service that counts Amadeus Capital Partners, Twilio and Khosla Ventures among its investors.

Your feedback

How would you rate this briefing?

1
2
3
4
5