A business specialising in software for customer contact centres is the latest company to receive investment from the Enterprise M3 Growth Fund. The Farnborough based venture has secured the funding as part of a £900,000 round which includes £195,000 angel monies facilitated by The FSE Investor Network, alongside institutional investors.
Sentiment’s offering focuses on providing large businesses with an effective platform to deal with the increasing amount of customer contact that is made via social networks and messaging apps. Within the next few years it is anticipated that social media and messaging apps will overtake phone and email as the primary method for customer service interactions. However, the majority of contact centres do not believe their technology is fit for purpose and are looking for better ways to manage these exchanges.
Leon Chaddock, Sentiment Founder, CEO and CTO, explains: “our software allows large enterprises to manage enquiries and complaints on social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter, from within their contact centres – currently this is mostly done separately as it requires different skills and technology. By bringing these functions together, our clients benefit from significantly reduced spend in this area along with a facility to integrate their contact with other areas of the business and improve their customer relationships – a large retail clients has, with our software, become one of the fastest social media responders in the UK.”
With a platform offering a solution unmatched by its competitors, Sentiment has a strong and growing pipeline adding to its list of existing clients, which currently includes several top 20 retailers, a global online marketplace and a parcel delivery company. The funds raised will be used to scale up sales and marketing both within the UK and overseas, particularly the US where it is already growing traction.
Ralph Singleton, Fund Manager at The FSE Group which manages the Enterprise M3 Growth Fund, adds: “this is a sector experiencing huge growth that is set to continue; spending on social monitoring and management tools is expected to grow nearly tenfold in the 5 years between 2014 and 2019, which will see global spend reach around £18 billion in that time. With its superior product offering, growing blue chip client base and first mover advantage, Sentiment is well-positioned to take advantage of this upsurge and we are delighted to be supporting them on their journey.”
Dr Mike Short, CBE Chairman of Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), comments: “We are excited that the growth ambitions of Sentiment can be supported by the Enterprise M3 Growth Fund. Our LEP area is a powerhouse for digital enabling technologies and we are always keen to support businesses like Sentiment that demonstrate strength in this important sector.”
The Enterprise M3 Growth Fund is part of the Enterprise M3 Funding Escalator, a £5.5million initiative funded by Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership. The escalator, which also includes an expansion loan scheme, provides eligible companies with loans and equity funding between £50,000 and £200,000 for activities that will deliver high-growth and employment opportunities.