Dublin start-up Converser raises US$1.2m in seed funding

3 Apr 2013

Converser, a Dublin-based start-up that has developed a CRM and cloud communications platform which can be embedded within mobile apps, has just closed a US$1.2m seed funding round. The company is also opening up its in-app communication system to mobile developers from today.

The US$1.2m seed funding round for Converser involves the Belfast-based Lough Shore Investments, Dublin venture capital firm Enterprise Equity and Enterprise Ireland.

Founded in 2010 by Barry Nolan and Oisin Hurley, Converser has come up with a platform to allow businesses to engage in two-way communication with customers via their mobile apps.

Hurley described Converser as a mobile messaging and customer management platform that has been designed specifically for smartphones.

“The mission is to allow companies to get to know their mobile customers better,” he said.

Hurley said the current state of the technology in the app space means companies may have many subscribers to an app but lack knowledge of who those subscribers are and their unique preferences.

“Companies have no real way of opening up a channel to customers to ask them what they like about the service. Our platform allows companies to do that in a simple, non-technical way,” he said.

The platform combines a self-learning CRM, an in-app, two-way conversation engine and analytics.

Oisin Hurley co-founder Converser

Oisin Hurley, co-founder, Converser

SDKs for developers

Converser is also launching it cloud service to individual developers from today.

“Our platform also provides software development kits for Android and iOS phones. All that developers need to do is integrate that library with the applications that they’re developing,” explained Hurley.

He said Converser also has a free offering to allow developers get feedback and ratings from their app without having to go through the app store.

Growth plans

Turning to the seed funding round, Hurley said it has allowed Converser to take on some new developers. The plan is also to take on more sales and marketing staff down the line.

“We’re building the team up. We’re also going to be doing more outreach, specifically in the UK and the US. The funding will allow us to do more public and visible activities,” he said.

Converser has already secured some large customers within Ireland in the banking, insurance and utility sectors.

Investing eye

Danny Moore, founder at Lough Shore Investments, said the investment in Converser marks the team’s first foray into Dublin’s start-up scene.

“We first encountered Converser at the Dublin Web Summit in 2011. We were immediately struck by both the team and the technology,” said Moore. Lough Shore Investments closed its first investment in Converser in late 2011.

According to Moore, Converser is uniquely positioned to capitalise on the momentum in the smartphone space.

“Their offering is timely and disruptive, with an ability to circumvent what is a traditional and outdated means of customer engagement, marketing and CRM,” he said.

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic