As we look towards 2020, we are reflecting on the trends we are most excited about in the B2B technology landscape. This week’s post centers around the changes taking place in customer communication and interaction on a global scale.
Customer Interaction on a Global Scale
With our global investment focus, we continue finding new regions where entrepreneurs are building interesting and relevant companies outside of Silicon Valley. The key is determining what market conditions, unique opportunities, and consumer preferences exist that provide a favorable foundation for these companies to thrive in places like LATAM, APAC, Africa, etc.
A technology company that has taken full advantage of this trend is WhatsApp, a secure messaging and communication platform. WhatsApp has a dominant position as the de facto consumer messaging app for developing markets with 500 million daily active users in Q1 of 2019. Last year, WhatsApp made their API open for enterprise use, which created the opportunity for businesses to directly communicate with their customers and gives them a next-gen system of record tool on top of legacy systems of record like their CRM.
Image courtesy of Hootsuite.
Enterprises are continuing to search for the best ways to communicate with their customers within B2C use cases. By the end of 2018, 78% of the world’s smartphone users leveraged a messaging app every month and by 2021, it’s predicted that the global user base for mobile messaging apps will have risen to over 90%. However, the primary method of customer interaction continues to be email, which creates additional friction.
Image courtesy of Yalochat.
We have been looking for companies capitalizing on this communication shift and were excited to meet Javier Mata, a talented entrepreneur and founder of a company based in Mexico City called Yalochat.
While the chatbot space is heavily saturated, the Yalochat team saw the opportunity with WhatsApp’s application for the enterprise and now supports many global customers like Amazon, Walmart, Nike, Pepsi, and AT&T in the LATAM region with APAC next. Beyond the increased customer engagement and availability of new data streams, their conversational relationship management solution allows companies to interact on top of WhatsApp, with a broad suite of functions, including sales, personalized marketing, and customer service.
We’re looking forward to seeing how the conversational relationship management sector grows as new opportunities are created to capitalize on communication trends in these new markets.
In case you missed it, check out our posts on the Top 5 B2B IT Infrastructure Trends from the 1H of 2019.
Brendon joined Sierra Ventures in 2017 and leads business development operations for the firm, including the CXO Advisory Board and Annual CXO Summit. In addition, he partners with management teams in the Sierra Ventures portfolio to accelerate their growth by identifying mutually beneficial CXO engagements, key strategic partnerships, and providing support with analyst relations strategies. Brendon also works with the Investment Team on sourcing and due diligence. Brendon has a background supporting CIOs in the healthcare industry and investors in the Venture Capital & Private Equity sectors through his work at Gartner. Brendon holds a MS in Entrepreneurship and BA in Environmental Science from the University of Florida. Outside of work he’s an avid golfer, traveler, and big Florida Gators fan.