Excl: Customer feedback platform Akosha raises $5M from Sequoia Capital
Coraza Technologies Pvt. Ltd, which runs an online customer feedback platform under Akosha.com, has raised $5 million in additional funding from existing venture investor Sequoia Capital, sources privy to the development told Techcircle.in.
The money will be used to make investments in technology and to expand its OneDirect suite of enterprise solutions like customer service benchmarking, online feedback CRM and reputation management solutions.
When contacted by VCCircle, Ankur Singla, founder and CEO, Akosha, confirmed the investment by Sequoia. He added, "The use of our online platform by consumers has grown dramatically in the last two years, and we believe that this is just the beginning. Though we have been working with different brands for the last two to three years, we started building a revenue model with them a year ago."
"As we grow, we plan to set up a consumer insight research centre. This will be based on the data that we have collected over the years. This will be like a guide which explains 'what brands can do to improve customer experience'. In the long term, we would also like to do something which can help consumers in pre-purchase decisions," said Singla.
Akosha is an online platform in India that connects consumers and brands for customer service and feedback.
The firm claims over 100 large brands use its platform and 22 of them have become paid customers. Voltas, Aircel, Snapdeal, Micromax and Groupon are among the leading brands currently using Akosha's enterprise solutions.
Through Akosha's consumers gain access to a platform that allows them to share their grievances and feedback, which may help them in quicker resolution of their problems, while brands are able to leverage a software suite to drive quick resolution.
In addition, many brands use customer service and feedback metrics offered by Akosha.
Akosha was founded in 2010 by Ankur Singla, who was joined by Avinash Vankadaru (in operations) and Vishal Pal Chaudhary (in technology). As of June 2014, Akosha has received over 790,000 customer service issues across sectors, including telecom, consumer appliances, mobile, insurance, banking and e-commerce. The company has 120 employees, of which 15 people are in technology team and over 50 are in customer service calls.
Shailendra Singh, managing director, Sequoia Capital, said, "We first made a seed investment in Akosha several quarters ago, and we are delighted to see the progress and evolution of the model. Consumer use of the online product has grown over 20x in the this time period with almost no marketing, and over 100 brands now use the Akosha platform every week, and over a dozen marquee brands have converted to paying customers."
According to independent sources, Akosha had previously raised around $1.35 million between 2011 and 2013 of which Sequoia brought in around $1.2 million and picked a significant minority stake. The remaining amount was invested by technology entrepreneur and corporate lawyer turned angel investor Ajay Agarwal, who previously co-founded an LPO named UnitedLex before divesting the firm in 2011.
(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)