Category: heyday

Led by ex-Amazonians, Acquco raises $160M to buy and scale e-commerce businesses



There has been a flurry of investments in startups focused on acquiring third-party sellers on Amazon and helping them build their businesses.

The latest is Acquco, which aims to stand out from the others in that it was formed by a pair of founders — Raunak Nirmal and Wiley Zhang — who actually worked at Amazon, and then built multimillion-dollar businesses on its platform.

The New York City-based startup has raised $160 million in debt and equity in a Series A round that it says will fund its “aggressive growth plans.” CoVenture, Singh Capital Partners, Crossbeam and other notable investors such as GoDaddy CEO Aman Bhutani put money in the equity portion of the round. Acquco would not disclose the valuation at which the money was raised, nor the exact breakdown of debt and equity, other than to say “a significant portion was equity.” But CEO Raunak Nirmal did share a few other notable things. 

For one, the company has already scaled to over $100 million in revenue since its founding (in a year’s time) while deploying less than $2 million of equity capital. Plus, it’s been profitable “since day one,” he said.

Nirmal also claims that Acquco’s proprietary technology and “proven playbooks” give it an edge against competitors such as Thrasio and Perch. Specifically, the company says it helps Amazon sellers exit their business within 30 days and continue to scale their business “to the next level” post-acquisition. It also claims to offer flexible terms and that it (Read more...)

Chatbot startup Heyday raises $5.1M



Montreal-based Heyday announced today that it has raised $6.5 million Canadian ($5.1 million in US dollars) in additional seed funding.

Co-founder and CEO Steve Desjarlais told me that the startup’s goal is to allow retailers to support more automation and more personalization in their online customer interactions, while co-founder and CMO Etienne Merineau described it as an “all-in-one unified customer messaging platform.”

So whether a customer is sending a message from Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and Google’s Business Messages or just via email, Heyday brings all that communication together in one dashboard. It then uses artificial intelligence to determine whether it’s a customer service or sales-related interaction, and it automates basic responses when possible.

Heyday chatbots can provide order updates or even recommend products (it integrates with Salesforce, Shopify, Magento, Lightspeed and PrestaShop), then route the conversation to a human team member when necessary.

There are other platforms that combine customer service and sales, but at the same time, Merineau said it’s important to treat the two categories as distinct and trust that a good service experience will lead to sales in the feature.

Heyday screenshot

Image Credits: Heyday

“We believe that helping is the new selling,” he said.

Desjarlais added, “We’re really against the ticket ID system. A customer is not a ticket …
I truly believe that every single customer is a relationship with a brand that needs to be nurtured over time and that will give more value to the brand over time.”

Heyday was founded in 2017 and (Read more...)