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Talkdesk nabs $100M at more than $1B valuation for its smart call centers

Talkdesk, the provider of cloud-based contact center software, has raised $100 million in new funding from Viking Global Investors, a Connecticut-based hedge fund, and existing investor DFJ. The round values the company at north of $1 billion, Talkdesk co-founder and chief executive officer Tiago Paiva confirmed to TechCrunch, but he declined to disclose the exact figure. The company, which uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to improve customer service, targets mid-market and enterprise businesses, counting IBM, Dropbox, Stitch Fix and Farfetch as customers. “Imagine a company has a million customers and they want to reach out for support, what Talkdesk does is allow the customer to connect with a company in the best way possible,” Paiva told TechCrunch. “If you call into Farfetch, they will be using Talkdesk so they can see what products you’ve bought, what your tastes are, what you’ve complained about before. It gives them the history of everything so they can take care of your problem faster.” Talkdesk launched an app store for enterprise call center customers Founded in Portugal in 2011, Talkdesk has offices in San Francisco and Lisbon. With the latest investment, it plans to expand to the U.K., as well as double down on its investment in AI. The company has previously raised about $24 million in equity funding, including a $15 million round in mid-2015. It also was a Startup Battlefield contestant at TechCrunch Disrupt NY in 2012. “Today’s digital-first customers expect immediate and personalized answers, yet the majority of companies have not yet adopted a flexible, cloud-native platform to enable this level of agility and service,” DFJ partner Josh Stein said in a statement. “We believe that 2019 will be the year that cloud-based contact centers become the rule, not the exception.”

Wasabi just landed $68 million to upend cloud storage

Chances are you see a story about cloud storage, and you yawn and move on, but Wasabi, a startup from the folks who brought you Carbonite backup, might make you pause. That’s because they claim to have found a cheaper, faster way to store data, and apparently investors like what they are seeing, forking over $68 million for a Series B investment. Yes, that’s a hefty amount for an early round, but with founders who have multiple successful exits, investors might have seen a lower risk than you might think. The company didn’t go with your usual Sand Hill Road suspects here, instead opting for an unconventional set of industry veterans and family offices along with Forestay Capital, Swiss entrepreneur, Ernesto Bertarelli’s technology fund. Much like Packet, a startup that scored $25 million the other day, they are hoping to take on cloud giants by finding a seam in the market they can exploit. While Packet was looking at customized compute, Wasabi is concentrating squarely on storage, an area they understand well from their Carbonite days. CEO David Friend reports they are offering a terabyte of storage for just $5 a month, and says they are growing 30-40 percent month over month, since they launched in May 2017. In fact, he says they already have 3500 customers. They took their time building their own custom storage solution, which he claims is faster and more efficient than any out there, allowing them to undercut Amazon S3 storage prices. Amazon is charging .023 cents per gigabyte for up to 50 terabytes. That works out to $23 a terabyte, substantially more than Wasabi’s asking price. It begs the question though, how they can afford to keep scaling such a solution. For starters, they use co-location facilities like Digital Realty and Equinix for their storage solution instead of building out their own data centers. Friend says as they scale, they won’t be using their investment capital to add more capacity. Instead, they will be borrowing from banks in an apartment building kind of model, where you build the building, rent out the apartments and…

WeTransfer is getting weird…

What do you do if you’re a European startup competing against the likes of Box and Dropbox, and are looking to make a splash in international markets like the U.S.? Well, if you’re the Dutch startup WeTransfer (which raised a cool $25 million about three years ago to take the U.S. market by storm), you get weird. Really, really, avant garde-level weird. WeTransfer, Funky Dutch Cousin Of Dropbox And Box, Gets $25M To Go Large In The U.S. The latest overture to the hipsterati is the company’s three video set collaboration with King Krule (which I applaud for no other reason than it lets me write about King Krule on the site). Here’s the first video from the collaboration between the (Beyonce-and-Tyler-the-Creator-and-New-Yorker-approved) artist and the file transfer and storage service. On the WePresent “platform” (which, back in my day, we would have called a “web zine”), Krule discusses the process for creating the video — as he will for all subsequent releases — with its directors and creative team. The first video in the series was directed by longtime Krule collaborators Michael and Paraic Morrissey who work under the nom de video cc. Wade. The King Krule collab isn’t the first time that WeTransfer looked to cash in on some cultural cache. The company has teamed up with McSweeney’s on a story collaboration called “Clean” written by Shelly Oria and Alice Sola Kim. Whether or not these forays into the world of the Kool Kidz are the result of a shift in strategy brought on by the company’s relatively new chief executive, Gordon Willoughby (formerly of Amazon), they’re pretty great. (At least, in the sense that we’re writing about WeTransfer for the first time in a few years.) WeTransfer’s founder leaves CEO role, ex-Amazon exec steps in for commercial push I can’t say whether WeTransfer’s file sharing service is notably better or worse than Box or Dropbox, but their hipster cred is undeniable. Points to you, WeTransfer. Points to you.

Document Management for the 21st Century

In 1898, a young man named Edwin Seibels invented the vertical filing system used in filing cabinets. Filing cabinets have been a staple of homes and offices ever since. Once… Read more » The post Document Management for the 21st Century appeared first on

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