Best young entrepreneurs of 2016 launch future of customer service and collect 1.5 million euros in funding.
Always get your customer service questions answered immediately: it sounds almost too good to be true, but soon it can be. Voted 2016’s most promising young entrepreneurs, Alexander Wijninga and Charl Haas are set to launch their innovative customer service platform Watermelon Messenger on February 1st. Using artificial intelligence, their aim is to reinvent the world of customer service.
Watermelon versus WhatsApp
It is not the first time the two young entrepreneurs turn their efforts to customer service. In 2015, Watermelon was launched as a corporate tool for using WhatsApp as a customer service platform. Demand was high, and organisations like the Dutch tax authority, Randstad and Heineken soon started using Watermelon. This success did not go unnoticed by WhatsApp. The messaging service demanded Watermelon take their product off the market, which led to bankruptcy in July 2016.
All Communications from One Platform
Despite their setback, Wijninga and Haas remained convinced of their vision of creating a more accessible customer service. Shortly after filing for bankruptcy they started developing Watermelon Messenger. This new tool lets businesses communicate through Facebook Messenger, Telegram, chat and e-mail from one clear and easy-to-use dashboard. At a later date, Skype, Line, Twitter, Instagram, WeChat and – as soon as an official API becomes available – WhatsApp are also to be added to the list.
The Future of Customer Service
What makes Watermelon Messenger unique is its use of chatbot technology. An automated representative is not only capable of replying to customers’ messages more quickly, it can also handle hundreds of questions simultaneously. This gives regular customer service workers more time to talk to customers who do need the help of a human representative. This could permanently solve the issue of reply times. In the last half of 2016, Watermelon has already built several artificial intelligence chatbots for major Dutch companies like Randstad, De Zaak and UWV (Dutch Employed Person’s Insurance Administration Agency).
1.5 Million Euros
Watermelon Ventures, the trust fund behind Watermelon Messenger, is investing 1.5 million euros in the development of Watermelon Messenger. Watermelon Ventures previously received a substantial amount in funding from a private investment fund. The investors, two brothers, predict a bright future for the two young entrepreneurs, thanks to their ambition and perseverance. The sum is to be put towards the development of their digital tool, further development of chatbot technology and market penetration in the Low Countries as well as the European region.
The beta version of Watermelon Messenger will be available for free (freemium) use from 1 February. You can already create your account at watermelon.nl/en.