Irish company Webio, a leader in Conversational AI in the credit, collections, and payments industry, has announced a €500k investment from Finch Capital to complete €1.5m in pre-series A funding. The Company, which includes Enterprise Ireland and EIT Digital amongst its backers, says the funding will go straight into deepening Webio’s capabilities in conversational AI, doubling the company’s R&D team, and expanding the sales and customer success teams to address the market demand.
“The credit and collections industry is ripe for disruption, its approach to its customers is outdated and the sector has been overlooked for far too long,” said Mike Brennan, Principal at Finch Capital. “It’s an extremely large market which is set for significant growth, and we believe that as a specialist in this space, Webio is extremely well-positioned to lead the industry in a new direction where customer engagement across the debt cycle is a positive experience.”
Webio which came in at #2 on the Deloitte Technology Fast 50 operates in the conversational AI market which is expected to grow to €11bn by 2024. While its customers have been predominantly in the Irish and UK markets, Webio has recently secured several key partnerships in Europe and the USA, laying the foundations for future growth.
Along with this recent Deloitte win, Webio has been recognised with a series of awards for innovation in customer experience in conjunction with leading brands Snap Finance and Oplo and The Very Group. Webio’s conversational messaging is extremely successful, proving to be three times more efficient at reaching and engaging with customers than chat solutions alone, and five times more efficient than traditional dialling systems. It has thus been readily adopted by companies in these challenging times.
Webio is on a mission to rebalance the credit, collections, and payment ecosystem by reimagining how customer credit conversations occur. With AI-assisted conversations, Webio is fundamentally shifting the balance of power back in the favour of the consumer. giving them more control in how they engage with their lenders. By removing the unnecessary stresses and strains, it is now possible to deliver a more empathetic experience that customers really respond to.
The jewel in the crown is Webio’s ability to ‘move the needle’ in predicting conversation outcomes by analysing what is said and how it is said. Identifying characteristics such as a person’s potential vulnerability early and accurately, and then guiding that customer conversations through a range of best next steps dynamically is an example of a critical capability in this market. Webio clients can manage their collections conversations on a level like never before. They can know faster, act sooner, and do so with confidence.
As we come out of the pandemic, companies will have to embrace the new digital ways of working, the new communications patterns, and the new online service expectations. This will be challenging as the number of these conversations that companies need to have is only going to increase in the coming two to three years. Webio is one of several Irish companies positioned to take advantage of the disruption of traditional markets to accelerate their rollout plans.
“Businesses are moving from simple telephone systems to chat, messaging, and now to intelligent assistants. We will not only help customers with service issues but also help them execute transactions and make more informed choices. Buy now pay later (BNPL) and embedded finance are two new high growth areas that we are seeing significant traction in,” says Cormac O’Neill, CEO and Co-Founder of Webio.
“This investment is another step in our strategic development plans to fundamentally change how this sector works.
Conversations about money are hard, they can be difficult to understand, and they can be stressful. We believe that the industry is poised for change and that Webio will deliver a future where these difficult conversations are made easier and managed better.”
Webio makes having difficult customer conversations easier for Credit, Collections and Payment businesses with trusted Conversational AI. Leading UK and Irish brands like The Very Group, Energia, Littlewoods, Hoist Finance using our conversational platform to orchestrate millions of customer conversations at scale and have convenient and highly personalized conversations. The no-code platform allows Webio customers and partners to get up and running with conversational AI over SMS, WhatsApp, Webchat, and other channels in hours, not months. Webio’s AI is predicting the seemingly unpredictable in digital collections conversations.
Founded in 2016, Webio’s platform enables the credit industry to engage with their in-debt and vulnerable customers positively and empathetically. Webio is on a mission to rebalance the Credit, Collections and Payment ecosystem by reimagining the way lenders engage and converse with customers.
Webio was ranked #2 in the 2020 Deloitte Technology Fast 50 Awards and is the founder of one of Europe’s leading conversational interface conferences – ConverCon. For more information, please visit webio.com.
About Finch Capital
Founded in 2013, Finch Capital is a series A/B investor in high-growth financial technologies companies run by exceptional entrepreneurs. Our mission is to fund and support the best entrepreneurs in creating products that will shape the future of finance. We have a track record of backing future industry champions including Aylien, BUX, Brickblock, Brytlyt, Fixico, Fouthline, Goodlord, Grab, Hiber, Twisto and Trussle. Finch Capital consists of a team of 12 investment professionals with wide entrepreneurial experience (e.g., Adyen, Deliveroo, Deepmind), prior investment experience (e.g., Accel, Atomico, Egeria) and industry backgrounds (e.g., Facebook, Google, and McKinsey), located across offices in Amsterdam, London, and Jakarta.
Finch Capital is an active producer of original research on the State of European Fintech and the Fintech sector post-Covid-19. For more information see www.finchcapital.com.