Ushur, which aims to automate aspects of the customer experience, raises $50 million • businessupdates.org

by Ana Lopez

Automation technology continues to attract funding in an increasingly challenging macroeconomic environment. That’s no doubt because of its money-saving potential. In a recent questionnaire by Zapier – not the most impartial source, admittedly, given that the company sells automation software – about 44% of employees say automation saves them time, while nearly a third (33%) say it allows them to do more achieve with fewer resources.

One of the sellers who benefits from the interest is Oesur, which focuses specifically on automating aspects of companies’ customer experiences. The startup provides dashboards from which users can build AI-powered workflows for tasks like claims processing, customer support, and appointment scheduling, enabling organizations to automate business processes as well as front-office, customer-facing tasks (if the sales pitch is to be believed).

Ushur announced today that it has raised $50 million in a Series C round led by Third Point Ventures with participation from investors Iron Pillar, 8VC, Aflac Ventures and Pentland Ventures. According to CEO Simha Sadasiva, bringing the startup’s total amount raised to $92 million, the funds will be used to expand Ushur’s product portfolio, develop new AI innovations and enter new regions and industries.

Ushur, which Sadasiva co-founded with ex-Lucent Technologies executive Henry Peter in 2014, targets companies in highly regulated industries such as insurance, healthcare, financial services and banking with tools designed to simplify technology adoption, such as conversational AI and intelligent document processing. For example, Ushur offers a chatbot-like plugin that provides automated customer support across web, mobile, email, and live chat channels, proactively contacts customers with information specific to their needs, and automatically completes transactions across the various channels.

“We optimize our [AI] models for industry-specific taxonomy and document types,” Sadasiva told businessupdates.org in an email interview. “For example, in the insurance industry ACORD forms are a standard. Ushur’s document models are trained on all types of these forms… Another example is the training model we developed to triage millions of emails.”

Hearing all this, you might be wondering, what sets Ushur apart from the other automation companies on the market? Fair question. After all, Jiffy.ai uses machine learning, AI, and a design studio to help businesses perform tasks that are normally done manually – similar to what Ushur claims to offer. Meanwhile, SaaS Labs offers AI tools to automate certain sales and support processes. Then there are incumbents such as Automation Anywhere and UiPath, occupying the huge robotic process automation market.

Oesur

Image Credits: Oesur

Ushur, says Sadasiva, stands out for its commitment to plug-and-play, self-service customer experiences. Using the platform, IT teams can connect existing systems to Ushur-provided APIs and data connectors before handing over work to business teams, who can build automated experiences on top of Ushur’s template-based workflows.

“Ushur’s flexible, AI-powered, and true zero-code workflow environment doesn’t require support from engineers who design or continually adapt it, as some automation solutions do,” Sadasiva said. “Most companies can quickly deploy Ushur’s no-code platform with in-house citizen developers and IT teams.”

Sadasiva’s words are best taken with a grain of salt. No technology is foolproof – not even Ushur’s, assuming it is indeed as good as it claims.

Technical differences and opinions aside, Ushur has managed to build an objectively strong customer base, with brands such as Aflac, Aetna, CVS Health and United Healthcare on the contractual hook for its services. Sadasiva says more than 50% of Ushur’s clients are Fortune 500 companies, and the startup now serves three of the world’s top six healthcare companies.

The software sells itself, says Sadasiva. A recent one questionnaire found that companies using customer experience automation software are expected to double their revenue by 2022 compared to companies using manual email marketing, marketing automation, and customer relationship management tools. According to the same study, automating the customer experience led to more relevant communications and, in turn, improved retention and customer acquisition.

“The pandemic has dramatically accelerated Ushur’s operations. During that time, Ushur has more than doubled its customer base, tripled its workforce and expanded its footprint across three continents,” said Sadasiva. “As the world went remote, customer interaction shifted online… At the same time, companies were hampered by COVID-related staff shortages and looked for ways to automate. Ushur gave companies a way to provide self-service interactions through any channel on the customer’s schedule.”

While Ushur currently has no government contracts, Sadasiva says it sees this as a growth opportunity. In fact, Ushur plans to expand into the public sector within the next 12 months, which may include pursuing military contracts.

“Ushur is in an enviable position to not only survive but thrive in a prolonged economic downturn…Even if the economy slides into recession, the trends are still favorable to our growth for the same reasons as during the pandemic” said Sadasiva. “Additionally, our focus on solving real-world business problems and our disciplined yet hands-on approach to growth kept Ushur out of trouble as we maintained a steep growth trajectory.”

There’s a grain of truth in that. While Sadasiva would not disclose Ushur’s exact revenue (supposedly for competitive reasons), he said the last four quarters were the largest in the company’s history and annual recurring revenue in 2022 would exceed the previous four years’ total. surpassed.

Ushur, which has 203 employees, plans to hire this year.

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