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Ankur Singla

Ankur Singla

Company: Coraza Technologies Pvt Ltd

Area of Operation: Chat-based concierge platforms

Founded: June 2010

Headquarter: Delhi

Founders: Ankur Singla

Funding: Raised $200,000 in seed round in September 2011, $5 million in Series A in July 2014, $16 million in Series B funding in July 2015

Investors: Sequoia Capital, unnamed angel investors

Business Model: The startup previously pivoted in July 2015 when it rebranded from Akosha.com, an online customer feedback platform, to chat-based personal assistant Helpchat. The company has now closed down its chat services and laid off most of the employees working in those operations, and tweaked its business strategy for the second time in less than a year.

The Collapse: Singla said in a blog post that a lot of its users found chat a “cumbersome” way of doing things and that it had realised as far back as in September 2015 that using chat to provide personal assistance was a problem. “The only problem with chat was that customers who tried it weren’t coming back. So we tried harder, optimised first response times, average response times, our knowledge base, canned responses and built better dashboards for monitoring all of these (all the while scaling the backend for the chat volume). That still didn’t work,” he said.

Helpchat has now pivoted into a platform that offers recharge services, bill payments, deals, news and journey cards and plans to introduce more offerings in the next three months.