This is the pitch deck that the CEO of AI startup Directly used to convince its top customers Microsoft and Samsung to invest in a $20 million round
- Directly is a San Francisco startup that helps businesses use AI to bolster customer support operations.
- Founded in 2011, the startup just announced that it has raised $20 million from new investors, including Samsung, and existing ones, which include Microsoft's M12 venture fund. Directly has raised a total of $56 million and is valued at more than $100 million.
- Microsoft and Samsung are also the startup's top customers. In fact, Directly's relationship with new investor Samsung evolved in the same way it did with Microsoft, CEO Mike de la Cruz told Business Insider.
- "We had a commercial relationship," de la Cruz told Business Insider. "We served them for a few years, answering questions, resolving issues automatically, as part of their virtual agent, as part of their customer support club and they joined this round as a strategic investor."
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Using artificial intelligence to bolster customer support operations is a rapidly growing market.
San Francisco startup Directly is standing out in this space for a key reason: it has signed important clients like Microsoft and Samsung, which were so impressed with its technology that they ultimately decided to invest in the company.
Directly, which was founded in 2011, this week announced that it has raised $20 million from new investors, including Samsung, and existing ones, which include Microsoft's M12 venture fund.
The company also named Mike de la Cruz, who had served as chief business officer, as Directly's new CEO, replacing co-founder Antony Brydon. Brydon will focus on innovation as a company vice president.
Directly uses AI to assist business support teams and a network of experts in answering customer questions and complaints. De la Cruz pointed to Microsoft as a major customer.
"We're resolving 2 million customer problems for them per year," he told Business Insider. "We also have Samsung as a customer."
In fact, Directly's relationship with Samsung evolved in the same way it did with Microsoft, he said.
"We had a commercial relationship," he said "We served them for a few years, answering questions, resolving issues automatically, as part of their virtual agent, as part of their customer support club and they joined this round as a strategic investor."
De la Cruz, a veteran Silicon Valley executive who worked at Hewlett Packard Enterprise, SAP and Oracle, said Directly, which has raised $56 million in funding, is now valued at more than $100 million.
Here's the pitch deck it used:
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