Newport-based tech venture Talkative has secured follow-on equity investment of almost half a million pounds to help fund its global expansion into North America.
Led by the Development Bank of Wales, who invested £200,000, the co-investment comes from its angel investors (£68,000), and Wesley Clover (£200,000). It brings the total investment into the company by the Development Bank since 2018 to £450,000.
Having grown revenue by 800% since 2018 and developed a customer base that includes global brands like Suzuki and Formula One, Talkative provides a suite of digital contact channels for the $25 billion global contact centre industry. The powerful and easy to use web-based solutions are designed to humanise the digital journey.
The latest funding round will help develop market opportunities in North America with a focus on recruitment and development of the core product range. This includes the enhancement of video chat functionality, digital centric customer contact and self-service solutions. There will also be investment in further integration with ecosystem platforms like Salesforce and Microsoft.
Established by co-founders Felix Winstone and Jakub Srsen, Talkative is based in the Wesley Clover Innovation Centre in Newport and took part in the Alacrity Foundation, a unique entrepreneurship programme that builds and accelerates the growth of high-tech start-ups.
The technology developed by Talkative transforms how organisations interact with consumers through their website. Voice, video and chat is embedded into customer-facing websites/apps and intelligently routed into contact centre infrastructure, bridging the gap between online sales and contact centres.
Felix Winstone said: "The continued support of the Development Bank and Wesley Clover as our institutional investors has given us the reassurance and the confidence to invest in our technology and scale-up so that we can take advantage of a rapidly changing global market.
“We’ve seen significant growth of over 800% since our first round of seed funding with 40% of our customer base now outside of the UK. With the backing of our equity partners, we’ve got a longer-term opportunity is to build a global company that is at the forefront of the emerging video chat category and helps redefine customer contact in the digital age."
Andy Morris, of the Development Bank of Wales, said: “The Talkative team has developed a robust and proven technical solution that has global reach given the shift from phone to digital centric customer solutions and the particularly rapid growth of video chat in the contact centre industry.
“As early investors in Talkative with pre-seed capital and follow-on funding, we are delighted to have supported the growth of this innovative business over the last four years. This is a really exciting market with an opportunity to scale at pace given no established incumbent provider. Indeed, as an alumni of the Alacrity Foundation they’ve already gained real traction with a high-profile customer base and the creation of highly-skilled jobs.”
Simon Gibson, CBE, DL, Chief Executive of Wesley Clover commented on the investment round: “As investors we are excited about the international growth prospects for Talkative. The company is providing global brands with advanced on-line customer interactions. Armed with their new investment round, we look forward to helping Talkative realise their full potential in both the North and South American markets”.