Charles, an all-in-one conversational-first operating system bringing ecommerce into chat apps, has raised $20m from a Series A financing round.
The round was headed by Salesforce Ventures and also saw participation from previous investors HV Capital and Accel.
Charles claims it enables businesses to sell products, send newsletters and support with ongoing personalisation and deep system integration via chat.
The company originally started as a solution to a problem its founders had personally experienced, with them being unable to find any software that combined service, sales and newsletter functionalities for chat apps in a single place. From this, they created software in the field of ‘cCommerce’.
Charles has already seen several of its software customers hitting seven-digit WhatsApp revenues this year and driving 10-40% of their sales via chat. In addition, clients have had more than 90% opening rates and 8x more revenue per recipient via WhatsApp newsletters than via email.
Through the new funding, Charles is planning to expand its operations from Germany into key European markets and is also targeting larger enterprise clients.
Charles co-founder and co-CEO Artjem Weissbeck said, “From day one, our mission has been to make commerce more personal by bringing it into our most human habit: conversations. Rich messaging apps, like WhatsApp, have been proven to facilitate this in Latin America and Asia by combining sales, marketing and service in one ongoing conversation. This is something ecommerce has failed to do due to the forced marriage of web shops and email. Conversational commerce is now sweeping over Europe and there’s never been a better way for brands to wow their customers.”
Andreas Tussing – fellow co-founder and co-CEO of Charles – added, “In the last two years, we’ve been writing playbooks for cCommerce in Europe with some incredibly innovative brands. On the way, Charles has matured to become a true suite that’s now ready for enterprise clients.
“We see cCommerce becoming a secret weapon for many brands in times where they must go the extra mile to win new customers and nurture existing ones. With Salesforce Ventures, we’ve found the perfect partner to unlock this potential in the years to come and are honored to welcome them alongside our existing investors Accel and HV Capital.”
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