Our start-up of the week is Arcutel, a Dublin-headquartered start-up that provides hosted interactive voice response (IVR) services to businesses of all sizes around the world.
“Interactive Voice Response systems are used to manage and automate incoming calls to a business,” explained co-founder and COO of Arcutel Dylan Gaul.
“Using an IVR system in your business is an effective way to provide 24/7 service to your customers, reduce costs and improve customer satisfaction. As well as directing calls to the most appropriate department or agent, you can use IVR to provide pre-recorded messages or allow your customers to leave a voicemail.
“They are also useful systems in that they allow customers to retrieve information from a database. A good example of this is train times; the times can be entered into a database (which may also be used for the train company’s website) and the customer can look up these times using the keypad on their phone.
IVR systems can also be very useful for obtaining information about your customers’ requirements, doing surveys and getting feedback. You can also log call information for training and quality purposes, auditing, performance reporting, and for enhancing or optimising your IVR system.”
Arcutel is targeting small, medium and large companies, ideally with high call volumes, that want to provide some type of automated telephone service to their customers without the hassle of building the infrastructure in-house.
It has already signed up customers in more than 45 countries around the world.
The global market for interactive voice response (IVR) systems is projected to reach US$2.78 billion by 2017, according to research from Global Industry Analysts (GIA).
The US continues to represent the largest and one of the fastest-growing regional markets for IVR systems, and therefore it is Arcutel’s main target market.
Arcutel’s founders Gabriel Valentin Cornoiu and Dylan Gaul met while attending the Web Submit in Dublin.
Gaul, a Dublin native, has a degree in statistics from UCD. Later he returned to college and completed a Graduate Diploma in Interactive Media and Web Development.
Since then he has been working as a web and applications designer, with excellent focus on UI and UX design. He follows best practice principles in his creative workflow process and conducts user research, testing, profiling and SEO to create effective UX solutions. He is passionate about simple interfaces that are both beautiful and engaging for the user.
Cornoiu, originally from Romania, has a degree in software engineering from UCM in Madrid. He has seven years’ experience in the IVR sector, creating IVRs for global insurance companies. Gabriel has held several positions in different companies, starting out his career as a software developer to ultimately leading an entire team as chief software development officer.
Together, they founded Arcutel in June 2014, with Gabriel as CEO and Dylan as COO of the company.
Arcutel’s system is very much in keeping with the style and ease-of-use of cloud-based productivity platforms. A company arrives on the websites and signs up for a two-month trial period.
After watching tutorials, the company can set up its own IVR service, assigning a phone number to its IVR, and can begin testing.
Once the company is happy with its IVR system it can provide the phone number to its customers.
“Our solution is design for all type of business of all sizes and we want every business to take advantage of this technology and become a leader in hosted telephony services. We plan to expand our services to include SMS. We continually iterate and improve our software,” Gaul explained.
He said that Arcutel has been acquiring customers through SEO and social media channels, mainly LinkedIn.
Self-funded and sheltered from the start-up scene
“We provide IVR to businesses mostly in the US, UK, Ireland and Bangladesh. We are not actively seeking investment but we do plan to attract it and use it to boost acquisitions by advertising on search engines and other channels.
“One of my main challenges is trying to find the balance for the two big things in my life right now – Arcutel and my six-month-old son. SEO is hard work for us too, as it’s really a long game to see results for your efforts. Creating blog articles is difficult for us as we do not have much experience copywriting. We also feel that our success selling B2B could be greatly increased if we had more contacts.
Gaul says Arcutel has not had much exposure to other start-ups in the Dublin scene.
“We have been quite sheltered from any start-up events or services as we have been busy developing the software and promoting the service online. We are at a stage now where we would like to get out to events, share our story, hear others, and perhaps work with other start-ups and offer our services to them.”
His only advice to other start-ups to is to try out Arcutel if they want to set up a hosted IVR service to help them look bigger and more professional.
“And if your business involves high call volumes then you won’t find a service that’s better value for money.”