Mavenoida Swedish company that provides both human and artificial intelligence support and troubleshooting tools for hardware companies has raised $30 million in Series B funding.
Founded out of Stockholm in 2017, Mavenoid works with hardware and consumer electronics companies including HP, Husqvarna and Jabra, serving to automate technical support and customization for customers spanning everything from printers and ovens to electric scooters and industrial equipment.
Providing technical support for physical products comes with many unique problems—problems that cannot be solved by screen sharing or other solutions borrowed from the software realm.
Typically, someone who has problems with a new dishwasher or coffee maker, for example, will either have to return the product to the store where they bought it, or the company will have to send an on-site service agent to physically inspect the item—but Mavenoid adopts a dual approach of AI-led self-service and agent-assisted live video support to circumvent these costs.
“The way you address physical product issues and the tools you need to be successful are actually quite different from how you would address software or service issues,” Mavenoid Co-Founder and CEO Shahan Lilja explained to TechCrunch. “We believe it’s better to have the right tools for the job rather than trying to apply generic solutions to specific problems. Hardware problems are recurring, difficult and time-consuming to fix. By automating a significant portion of these repetitive — but often complex — support requests, companies can save costs by reducing overhead and reallocating resources elsewhere in the organization.”
With live support, Mavenoid gives companies access to interactive video tools that connect the customer directly with a human agent.
The agent asks the customer to point their smartphone camera at the product, and the agent can zoom in and draw on the screen to illustrate which component needs to be addressed, and share links to troubleshooting guides.
On the AI-driven self-service side, meanwhile, Mavenoid helps companies compile their technical documentation, FAQs, and how-to guides into a format that’s easy to access and query through a chatbot-style interface.
To do this, Mavenoid combines Open GPT-3 on AI language model and proprietary algorithms to create what it calls “high-quality support models.”
This essentially means that Mavenoid takes care of all content exhaustion (documentation, guides, FAQs, etc.) and optimizes the knowledge base structure specifically for automated hardware support. This is designed for more complex questions that traditional bot builders would likely struggle with, and follows a non-linear model that takes into account the specifics of the problem while using natural language understanding (NLU) to identify the true intent behind the support request of the user.
In short, Mavenoid promises to really understand a given query instead of just finding and matching keywords. This increases the chances of finding a solution to the problem rather than simply diverting queries and complaints from customer support teams.
“Drifting often means customers don’t get the help they need and come back angrier than before – ultimately costing companies more in the long run as they still have to respond to the inquiry but are harmed customer satisfaction and loyalty,” Lilia said.
It’s also worth noting that at the end of a human-led live support session, agents can offer feedback that can be fed into Mavenoid’s machine learning models to improve the self-service product in the future .
“Over time, Mavenoid’s AI will learn from implemented suggestions, as it does from all conversations, to improve the automation capability of the self-service assistant.” Lily added.
In terms of deployment, companies can embed the Mavenoid engine into any website or application by copying and pasting a shortcode. They can then post links to their product assistants in emails, customer support tickets, social media, and even QR codes—for example, a company might place a QR code sticker on a product that directs the customer to a self-service setup guide.
Mavenoid can also integrate with customer relationship management (CRM) software, ticketing systems, e-commerce stores, knowledge bases, and more.
A lot has changed at Mavenoid since then $8 million Series A more than two years agowith a new interface and countless new features such as AI Retrievalwhich allows companies to transform their product documentation into snippets of relevant answers that can be indexed and searched through the Mavenoid self-service product assistant – a bit like how Google displays answers to specific questions directly in search results.
In addition, Mavenoid has expanded to more than 50 languages and introduced numerous third-party integrations, including with Salesforce, Zendesk, Shopify, Zapier, and more.
Mavenoid had previously raised about $10 million, and with another $30 million in the bank, the company said it plans to double down on its AI and product development, as well as scale its technology globally.
Mavenoid’s Series B round was led by Smedvig Capital with participation from Creandum, Mosaic, Point Nine Capital, NordicNinja and ABB Technology Ventures.