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View from Initialized

Cohere’s Real-Time Support Technology is the Future of Customer Engagement

Yunyu Lin, CEO and co-founder, Jason Wang, COO and co-founder, co-founder, Rahul Sengottuvelu, CTO and co-founder

Over the past year, companies and consumers have had to take a significant portion of their business and business processes 100% online. This transition to remote work has accelerated the adoption of new technologies and has brought a cascade of complexity to the users of web-based products and to their teams that have to support them. Online products have also become more sophisticated and companies are looking for ways to efficiently onboard as many customers as possible. Prior to COVID, this trend had already started to gain a foothold. Now, this is a more urgent requirement for successful enterprise companies.

Tackling this issue head-on is Cohere. Founded just last year by Yunyu Lin, Rahul Sengottuvelu, and Jason Wang, Cohere was built to make Customer Support and Customer Success teams the active drivers of a product’s success, by allowing these front line teams to see customer interactions in real-time and intervene quickly in a variety of ways. So instead of waiting for customers to self-identify issues (e.g., in on-boarding) or having to blindly troubleshoot problems over the phone, support teams can now ask permission to take control of a user’s session and walk the user through how to complete a process. This new approach to customer engagement not only reduces effort on the company’s side but also improves the user experience and reduces process abandonment. Many companies have already signed up to utilize this seamless collaboration experience with their customers, making a potentially frustrating experience an impressive one. And Cohere does all this without exposing sensitive or private information.

Cohere takes less than five minutes to integrate into any website and provides access to a live dashboard of all the active sessions on a website or web product. Customer teams (sales, product, or success) can proactively identify which sessions are stalled and they can instantly intervene or ask the user to grant access to help control the screen. It also integrates with common sales and support products like Zendesk, Salesforce and Slack. This is all done with security safeguards and a SOC2 and GDPR compliant platform.

They have also just launched Cohere Replay, which lets you go back in time to understand issues by viewing customer sessions after-the-fact. This makes Cohere the only platform that is both proactive in real-time and retroactive.

I’ve been working with Yunyu, Rahul, and Jason for almost a year and am continually impressed by how they work together as a unit to understand and solve any problem. The founders met while in college at Duke University and have been inseparable since. They attack every domain with gusto – from design and marketing to product engineering. It is not uncommon for them to troubleshoot customer problems while in our office hour sessions (outside in Bryant Park or K-town in NYC).

Initialized is excited to lead Cohere’s $3.1M seed round, with participation from Y Combinator and a host of other veterans in the enterprise software space. And I’m personally excited to continue working with them and can’t wait to see what they accomplish as they add to their product and sales teams.