Balto – Why Sierra Ventures Invested
Customer expectations of corporations and businesses have increased and Customer Experience has become a top priority for every organization. Growing customer expectations combined with the shift to remote work in recent months has created a customer support environment that is ripe for change. With the future of work moving to a distributed workforce, enterprises are turning to technology to better understand and interact with their customers as their employees move to working from home. Gartner predicts that 74% of employers believe their workforce will be more remote going forward and this shift has made it imperative for contact center and customer support leaders to find solutions to better train their reps in a remote setting. So what will the Call Center of the future look like? Balto, a "conversation analytics" company building a real-time coaching platform for call center reps believes the future is real-time. Based in St. Louis, Balto provides the world’s first AI-Powered Real-Time Call Guidance technology for contact centers. Their platform allows organizations to increase sales conversions, deliver exceptional customer experience, and decrease ramp time of their contact center agents. We were extremely impressed with Balto’s team and technology and are excited to announce that Sierra Ventures led Balto’s $10M Series A. What gets us most excited about Balto is their ability to provide a legitimate real-time solution to customers. Most contact center agents are trained by breaking down the call post-mortem with tools that provide insight on how to improve for future calls. Balto is unique in that it arms reps with the ability to sell better “in the moment” to ensure they are saying the right things to customers at the right time in live conversations before they lose valuable sales opportunities. They leverage technologies like Artificial Intelligence and Natural Language Processing to make this possible. We love the opportunity to work with founders that are driven to build solutions from pain points they have experienced firsthand. When we met Marc Bernstein, CEO/Founder of Balto, we knew he checked this box. Being a former sales executive, he was focused on finding a platform that could better guide him and his team on a live customer call. After he was not able to find anything commercially available, he decided to build it himself. As a former operator of customer engagement software companies including Octane Software (acquired by Epiphany for $3.2B) and Scopus Technology (acquired by Siebel Systems for $460M), I saw the value and potential of the technology the Balto team has built. We are thrilled to be partnering with OCA Ventures, Stage Venture Partners, Sandalphon Capital, and Jump Capital, Balto’s existing investors. Every application will need to have a conversational layer on top of it at some point. Balto’s vision is to become a category leader in Real-Time Customer Interaction Software. We believe that one day contact center leaders across the world will consider Balto the defacto platform to ensure every customer conversation is executed at the highest level.Welcome to the Sierra Ventures family Balto team!