Tech startup virtualQ receives seven-digit financing for customer services
June 20, 2018
The signs are set for growth. The startup virtualQ has raised growth financing. With its enterprise software solutions, the company following the vision of “a world without waiting” is one of the innovation drivers in the call center industry. Among its backers are well-known venture capital investors and experienced business angels.
Companies that focus on service quality do not waste their customers’ time by leading them through endless queues. virtualQ has recognized that and offers software technologies like virtual assistants, which drastically reduce waiting times on the telephone, and voice solutions, which answer recurring customer requests directly.
Its business model and market success has also convinced a number of investors. The list of backers ranges from venture capital investors such as coparion, Constantia New Business and DON Ventures (Prof. Wolf Michael Nietzer) to experienced business angels with many years of business experience in senior positions such as Prof. Heinz-Werner Nienstedt and Detlev J. Hoch.
virtualQ is one of the drivers of innovation in the customer care industry. The young company, with offices in Stuttgart and Berlin, has quickly conquered a firm place alongside established players. Both national and international companies rely on the services of virtualQ, including Lufthansa Albatros, HanseMerkur, Capita, Österreichische Bundesbahnen (ÖBB), United Bank of Africa, Gothaer and Wien Energie.
The journey has not been without obstacles. Founder Jens Kühnapfel reports: “As newcomers to the industry, we first had to prove we weren’t a flash in the pan. So first and foremost we would like to thank our customers, who recognized our potential early on and supported and trusted us from day one.” His brother and co-founder Ulf Kühnapfel adds: “Without our partners and supporters, we would not have been able to grow so quickly. We are very much looking forward to continuing our cooperation!”
The founding trio, Niels Liebisch and the Kühnapfel brothers, will use the investor capital to take the company to the next level: “We will continue to build the most intelligent platform in the customer service industry.”, says Niels Liebisch. “To accomplish that, we will put significant focus on our engineering team”. Head of Marketing Anika Baumann adds: “Our unique selling point is language-based, customer-oriented customer care solutions. We will now further extend this lead through the targeted use of AI and machine learning technologies.”
virtualQ also plans to grow its sales efforts. In pursuit of this goal, the company still has few aces up its sleeve, as described by Ulf Kühnapfel: “We’ve gathered a lot of knowledge on customer behavior in service centers. We will incorporate this knowledge into our product developments, which will benefit our customers. Our vision of eliminating the wait for service will now be realized even faster thanks to the financing we received.”
The tech startup virtualQ develops virtual assistants to help companies create positive service experiences for their customers. They are used, for instance, to reduce waiting times on the phone, provide information to callers and answer recurring customer inquiries. virtualQ’s intelligent algorithms help companies optimally control incoming calls from its service center. The startup was supported by the Business Angels Brive Venture from Stuttgart and pega.sys.ram financially and content wise from the beginning. www.virtualq.io/en
About the investors
coparion is a venture capital investor for young German technology companies. coparion is making a significant contribution to rapid and sustainable growth with its fund volume of EUR 225 million.
coparion supports entrepreneurial vision with expertise without interfering with the operative business. The coparion team recognizes potential and opens up new perspectives through its many years of experience in venture capital and company development. coparion has the substance, stamina and creativity to successfully master even difficult situations together.
coparion finances exclusively with co-investors. It focuses on the startup and early growth phase. The fund invests up to EUR 10 million per company, usually in several financing rounds of EUR 0.5-5 million each. coparion has offices in Cologne and Berlin.
Constantia New Business (CNB) invests in technology startup companies addressing B2B markets with sustainable products, preferably in the fields of information technology and industries/technology fields that are experiencing disruption through IT as well as advanced manufacturing and performance materials. www.cnb.capital
Prof-Heinz-Werner Nienstedt, business angel and entrepreneur. Previously Chair of Media Economics at the University of Mainz with leading positions in media companies, including CEO of Handelsblatt Group
Detlev J. Hoch, Head of thehighground GmbH and Director Emeritus of McKinsey & Company, Inc.
DON Ventures IV and V are private investment companies managed by WOLFMAN.ONE / Prof. Nietzer, an entrepreneur and transaction lawyer from Heilbronn.
About High-Tech Gründerfonds
High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF) is a seed investor that finances high-potential, tech-driven start- ups. With EUR 892,5 million in total investment volume across three funds (EUR 272 million in HTGF I, EUR 304 million in HTGF II and EUR 316,5 million for HTGF III) and an international network of partners, HTGF has already helped forge 500 start-ups since 2005. Driven by their expertise, entrepreneurial spirit and passion, its team of experienced investment managers and start-up experts help guide the development of young companies. HTGF’s focus is on high-tech start-ups in a range of sectors, including software, media, internet, hardware, automation, health care, chemicals and life sciences.
This group also includes a number of success stories, such as Mister Spex, Rigontec, 6Wunderkin- der, Next Kraftwerke and Cumulocity, as well as Juniqe, an online shop for art enthusiasts. To date, external investors have injected over EUR 1.5 billion into the HTGF portfolio via more than 1,200 follow-on financing rounds. HTGF has also successfully sold interests in more than 90 companies.
Investors in this public-private partnership include the Federal Ministry For Economic Affairs and Energy, the KfW Banking Group, and Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft e.V., as well as the companies ALTANA, BASF, BAYER, B.Braun, Boehringer Ingelheim, Robert Bosch, BÜFA, CEWE, Deutsche Post DHL, Dräger, Drillisch AG, EVONIK, EWE AG, Haniel, Hettich, Knauf, Körber, LANXESS, media + more venture Beteiligungs GmbH & Co. KG, PHOENIX CONTACT, Postbank, QIAGEN, RWE Generation SE, SAP, Schufa, Schwarz Gruppe, STIHL, Thüga, Vector Informatik and WACKER and Wilh. Werhahn KG.