20 Notable Customer Experience Startups (2021)

by Josh Howarth - June 29, 2021

Business leaders agree that customer experience—the high-level view of a customer’s relationship with a business based on every touchpoint they’ve ever had—is essential.

But statistics show that consumers see the situation differently.

Recent findings from Merkle showed that while 86% of surveyed businesses felt they were providing a successful, complete customer experience. And just 35% of customers saw businesses’ advertising and marketing tactics as relevant and sufficient.

Given this apparent divide between the intentions of businesses and the true feelings of consumers, modern companies may need to re-evaluate their own customer experience. In this article, we present 20 trending startups that aim to help businesses with CX problems improve their relationship with their customers.

1. MaestroQA

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5-year search growth: 0%

Search growth status: Peaked

Year founded: 2013

Location: New York, New York

Funding: $6.5M (Seed)

What they do: MaestroQA is a customer experience startup that aims to deliver companies in-depth knowledge about their customer success team performance. The platform, which integrates with other common business tools such as Zendesk, Intercom, and Salesforce, was founded by Vasu Prathipati and Harrison Hunter after two unsuccessful marketing startups: Adtrib and MaestroIQ.

2. Narvar

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5-year search growth: 34%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2012

Location: San Mateo, California

Funding: $64M (Series C)

What they do: Narvar is a software company that helps businesses provide customers with a better experience post-purchase, from improved communication to more streamlined returns and repeat purchases. Their end goal is to assist companies in creating satisfied repeat customers. Since its founding in 2012, Narvar has helped over 800 companies influence more than 125M customers worldwide.

3. Directly

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5-year search growth: 73%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2011

Location: San Francisco, California

Funding: $66.8M (Series unknown)

What they do: Directly improves customer experience through artificial intelligence technology. The San Francisco-based startup works with Microsoft, Airbnb, and others and has been financed by Samsung NEXT, Industry Ventures, and M12 Ventures from Microsoft, to name a few investors. The company was named #340 on Forbes Magazine’s 2021 list of “Best Startup Employers.”

4. MadKudu

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5-year search growth: -100%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2015

Location: Mountain View, California; Paris, France

Funding: $9.1M (Series A)

What they do: MadKudu works to elevate the customer journey for B2B companies through better lead scoring. In 2020, the company, which is leveraged by businesses like Intercom and Gusto, highlighted their over $5M Series A funding round, the growth of their board of directors and advisory board, and their relaunched website.

5. Meya

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5-year search growth: 3100%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2015

Location: Kitchener, Ontario, Canada

Funding: $1M (Seed)

What they do: Meya is a platform used by companies to create support bots and improve customer experience. Google, Playstation, ESPN, and more companies use Meya’s platform to develop white-labeled applications to streamline many types of customer processes, from upsells to returns. The startup was founded by University of Waterloo graduates Erik Kalvianen and Amanie Ismail in 2015.

6. SnatchBot

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5-year search growth: 4600%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2015

Location: Herzliya Pituach, Israel; Rostov-on-Don, Rostov Oblast, Russia; Dublin, Ireland

Funding: Unknown

What they do: SnatchBot is a customer experience tool that allows businesses to create chatbots that can be used on multiple channels to help customers and automate tasks. The platform boasts a simple user experience that doesn’t require advanced technical skills and offers text-to-speech and speech-to-text functionality. The startup seeks to join the ranks of other successful Israeli startups, including Fiverr, Houzz, and WeWork.

7. Moesif

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5-year search growth: 4100%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2016

Location: San Francisco, California

Funding: $3.5M (Seed)

What they do: Moesif helps API developers improve their customer experience by gaining insights into how customers are leveraging their API. According to Derric Gilling, CEO and one of the founders of Moesif, the platform is essentially like Google Analytics for APIs. In early 2019, Moesif announced a seed funding round amounting to $3.5M with contributions from Merus Capital, Heavybit, and Zach Coelius.

8. AfterShip

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5-year search growth: 144%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2012

Location: Hong Kong, China

Funding: $69M (Series B)

What they do: AfterShip is a customer experience company focused on bettering the consumer impression of ecommerce. The company, founded in 2012, only recently brought on sales staff after seeing years of success through smart business partnerships and referrals. In Q2 2021, the company announced a sizable $66M Series B funding round.

9. Solvvy

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5-year search growth: 69%

Search growth status: Peaked

Year founded: 2015

Location: San Mateo, California

Funding: $16.5M (Series A)

What they do: Solvvy arms companies with chatbots that can help them provide faster support issue resolution, guide customers to helpful resources, execute customer support workflows, and more. The platform incorporates natural language processing and machine learning research to create better customer experiences. According to a recent Forrester Total Economic Impact report sponsored by Solvvy, the company can provide customers with a 500%+ ROI.

10. Threekit

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5-year search growth: 8500%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2005

Location: Chicago, Illinois

Funding: $30M (Series A)

What they do: Threekit is a platform designed to improve the ecommerce shopping experience by allowing brands to easily create true-to-life 3D product images to include in online listings. Through this technology, sellers have seen as high as a 40% conversion increase. Ben Houston, founder and CTO of Threekit, previously worked in the film industry developing visual effects used in movies like Poseidon, Superman Returns, and Avatar.

11. Surfly

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5-year search growth: -44%

Search growth status: Peaked

Year founded: 2012

Location: Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Funding: $3.8M (Series unknown)

What they do: Surfly offers a solution to improve customer support interactions with easier screen sharing. The remote co-browsing software helps support reps, sales professionals, and consultants connect quickly and easily with their customers' needs. According to founder/CEO Nicholas Piël, he started the company after his own on-the-job experience with the difficulties involved in remote tech support.

12. Chattermill

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5-year search growth: 0%

Search growth status: Peaked

Year founded: 2015

Location: London, England

Funding: $13.3M (Series A)

What they do: Chattermill is a customer experience platform designed to give companies a holistic view of disparate pieces of customer feedback that they can use to better understand and serve their customers. The startup raised $8M in a Series A funding round in early 2020. Investors included DN Capital, Silicon Valley Bank, and Matt Price, SVP of Zendesk.

13. Loyalty Prime

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5-year search growth: 30%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2014

Location: Munich, Germany

Funding: $7M (Series B)

What they do: Loyalty Prime is a loyalty program startup with a global client base. With its SaaS offering, brands can create tiered programs, gamified programs, and more. In early 2020, the Munich-based company announced a €5M (roughly $6M) Series B funding round with participants that included Hi inov and BayBG Bayerische Beteiligungsgesellschaft.

14. Critizr

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5-year search growth: 660%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2012

Location: Lille, France

Funding: $20.3M (Series B)

What they do: Critizr is a customer experience tech startup that simplifies customer feedback for retail. Through the platform, stores are able to connect with customers and act on feedback. Both local store locations and headquarters can also benefit from a holistic view of customer experience insights. Founders Nicolas Hammer and Thibault Carlier started the company to help retail businesses keep up with the changing times and needs of customers.

15. Raydiant

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5-year search growth: 1000%

Search growth status: Peaked

Year founded: 2017

Location: San Francisco, California

Funding: $20M (Series A)

What they do: Raydiant is a digital signage startup focused on helping companies make the most of the in-person experience of their business. They boast a technology solution that is both easy to set up and scale. The company, previously known as Mira, announced a $7M funding round in late 2019 that included 8VC, Bloomberg Beta, and other investors.

16. ChurnZero

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5-year search growth: 4500%

Search growth status: Peaked

Year founded: 2015

Location: Washington, D.C.

Funding: $34.5M (Series B)

What they do: ChurnZero arms business with the information and tools needed to combat customer attrition or churn. The company, founded by previous Cision (formerly Vocus) co-workers You Mon Tsang and Mark Heys, has raised roughly $35M total, with a 2021 Series B funding round bringing in $25M from JMI Equity, Baird Capital, and other investors.

17. QuestionPro

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5-year search growth: 48%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2005

Location: Dallas, Texas

Funding: Unknown

What they do: QuestionPro provides a web-based survey platform that helps businesses gather information to inform their business practices. The company was founded by Vivek Bhaskaran, now the company’s CEO, who holds a computer engineering degree from Brigham Young University and sits on the board of several additional technology startups, including IdeaScale, TryMyUi, and LanderApp.

18. Timepoints

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5-year search growth: -14%

Search growth status: Peaked

Year founded: 2013

Location: Santiago, Chile

Funding: $40K (Seed)

What they do: Timepoints is a Chile-based survey company that helps companies gather and act on customer feedback. For companies interested in customer retention, Timepoints claims to help them easily build surveys and collect data in real-time for faster issue resolution. According to their blog, the company possesses the Woman Company Seal (Sello Empresa Mujer), which identifies female-driven businesses that supply services to the government.

19. parcelLab

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5-year search growth: 7500%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2015

Location: Munich, Germany; London, England; New York, New York; Paris, France

Funding: $112.1M (Series C)

What they do: parcelLab seeks to help brands provide their customers with an engaging, optimized experience at all sales touchpoints, from package tracking to returns. Like many companies focused on improving the post-sales process, a key objective of parcelLab’s is helping companies retain their existing customers. The European-based company was founded by Julian Krenge and Tobias Buxhoidt and is using a recent $112M funding round to further its expansion into the United States market.

20. Shipup

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5-year search growth: 3400%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2016

Location: Paris, France

Funding: $8.2M (Series A)

What they do: Shipup’s goal is to help companies achieve a better post-purchase experience for their customer base. Through better delivery estimates, customized order communications, delivery analytics, and more, companies like Volcom, bareMinerals, and others can improve the entire ordering experience. The Paris-headquartered startup brought in €6M (roughly $7M) in summer 2020 with plans to expand the company's operations into North America.

Conclusion

When reviewing these customer experience startups, clear themes stand out.

First, several of these startups focus on supplying companies with crucial customer and company data to help them make smarter business decisions.

Second, some of these companies have realized the benefits of harnessing artificial intelligence to create chatbot software.

Lastly, the importance of the post-purchase experience for ecommerce customers is a recurring theme, with several startups focused on this exact step of the customer journey.

Despite the differences in these companies’ offerings, they are all still linked through their focus on helping businesses understand, satisfy, and retain their customers.

Written By
Josh Howarth
Co-founder of Exploding Topics.
548 Market St. Suite 95149
San Francisco, California
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