Plain Raises $6m to Build API-First Platform That Will Transform Customer Support for Businesses
- The London-based startup, founded by two senior ex-Deliveroo employees, has today announced a $6 million seed investment round to make customer support easier, faster and more scalable for businesses
- Over the last decade, technology businesses have become more sophisticated in how they operate, more engineering-centric in how they think, and more demanding in the level of quality and speed they expect from software
- Yet, customer service tools available to them have not kept up with that shift, leaving customer support teams isolated, and customers dissatisfied
- To solve this, Plain is building a modern, design-centric and API-first tool, so companies can provide fast, streamlined support to their customer service teams with fewer workarounds, fewer hacks, and fewer lines of code
Plain was founded in 2020 by CEO Simon Rohrbach, an early employee and former director of design at Deliveroo, and CTO Matt Vagni, a developer and designer with experience at Lyst and Deliveroo, and online pharmacy company LloydsDirect - one of the largest chemists in the UK.
Making it easier for engineering teams to support their colleagues in customer service, is what Plain believes holds the key to greater efficiency. The customer support platform, which launched its open beta at Web Summit Lisbon last week, is built to show live customer data and customer communications in one place – all while offering a superior developer experience for ease of integration and full extensibility.
Rohrbach says: “The fundamental problem we’re solving is context: Plain offers a single source of truth for customer interactions, powered by companies’ own systems and data – so when someone gets in touch with a problem, the company immediately knows who they are, what their order is, what’s happened so far – and can resolve it in a single click. Customer service teams are often left unsupported by their colleagues in engineering because traditional systems can be hard to integrate and build with. As a result, customer support teams are left to contend with poorly integrated tools, fragmented data, and disconnected systems. We’re designing Plain from day 1 with both engineering and customer service teams in mind, so it can be quickly and easily customised, rather painfully ‘hacked’ after the fact.”
Compared with legacy platforms, Plain has three key advantages. One is the ease with which it can be integrated into companies own systems: it can be deployed right away with a beautiful, lightning fast app, but also infinitely extended using the company’s powerful APIs. Secondly, Plain is built with developer experience in mind, making it a breeze to integrate and build with. And finally, Plain is built to leverage companies’ own live systems and data, rather than requiring companies to sync data or write complex apps – something that makes startups hesitate to use legacy providers, since it can be cumbersome to maintain.
The funding round was co-led by Index Ventures and Connect Ventures, with participation from a number of prominent angels, including Soleio, who led early design at Facebook, Messenger and Dropbox and is an advisor to Figma.
“A better experience for developers means a better one for agents, which means a better one for customers,’ says Georgia Stevenson, the partner who led the investment for Index. “Consumer expectations have shifted radically in recent years in terms of design and functionality. Plain is what will empower businesses to approach customer service with the same thoughtfulness they give to their core product – and in fact, to see customer service as part of that product, not an afterthought.”
Published — Nov. 9, 2022