It’s 2020 and the Verloop office is buzzing. There’s stuff happening all around me.
In front of me, I have new colleagues who joined over the holidays – bustling around and getting onboarded in glee.
To my right, the sales team ponders over spreadsheets of their new targets for the quarter.
Over my shoulder to the left, the ML team goes over their plans for the week. Rajeev is telling the team how he spent 45 minutes error handling in Golang since it handles exceptions in the same line unlike it does in Python.
Behind me – 2019. A year of introspection, action, and validation.
Four years, four paragraphs.
Piyush and Gaurav started Verloop in 2016. Back then, it was a heave of desperation. They knew it was possible because of the work they put in – but it very much was a Plan B.
They pivoted from a personal-assistant business model that focused on customers – to an enterprise SaaS model that focused on serving companies and in turn, customers.
The foundation they set in place was solid, it just needed a different structure to succeed. By providing services to companies to use the power of conversation to engage with their customers and serve them better, Verloop fulfilled a larger purpose in the market.
The past year at Verloop saw us ask difficult questions, move to newer markets, build better products and boost financials across the board.
Why is the work we’re doing important?
There exists a fundamental lack of discourse between businesses and customers.
This permeates through org structures, support & marketing spend and channels – right down to the tools that companies use.
This dissonance is summarized in a single statement.
"A customer that reaches out to a company today doesn't want a reply tomorrow."
A customer that is interested in your product today may not be interested in it tomorrow.
A customer that needs a purchase issue resolved today could have completely given up on the company by tomorrow.
Consumer behavior research backs this up.
Companies that don’t respond to sales queries in five minutes risk losing those leads forever, according to HBR.
51% of customers who are subjected to high-effort purchase and post-purchase experiences will never buy from that company again.
The bottom line is this – Respond to your customers quicker. And AI-powered conversational platforms like Verloop do just this – accurately and at scale.
how does this happen?
Businesses generally use three tools to generate leads, support customers and engage prospects.
These three channels suffer from all the traditional problems – they’re slow, ineffective, expensive, outdated, etc. But at the crux of the issue is a common denominator – humans.
Humans are slow, they make mistakes, are costly to hire and can’t be easily scaled. It’s understandable why the tools humans agents use suffer from the same challenges too.
But humans are integral cogs in sales, support and engagement. It’s easy enough to throw them under the bus, but it’s difficult to build systems that brings out the best in humans.
And that’s where you have chatbots.
Chatbots respond to customers in seconds. They can accurately engage hundreds of customers at the same time and are therefore great drivers of CSAT. Scaling chatbots to move from 10,000 conversations to 20,000 conversations is easy too – much easier than hiring a human support staff to manage the same scale.
All of this allows your existing team to tackle bigger, more creative challenges that humans are great at. Verloop seeks to maximize the potential of the humans they work with, instead of replacing them all.
New blood, same beast
People are the drivers of all Verloop excellence. We pride ourselves on having a great team first – followed by everything else.
Finding individuals who share our passion and vision was a priority for us in 2019. Here are a couple of highlights –
27 new colleagues joined our Slack Workspace this year.
20+ of the Verloop team works in tech.
18 team members are 27 & under.
12 of us play Counter-Strike.
11 of us are really good at it. (Sorry Vollin)
6 are Malayali
5 graduated from Christ University.
3 are married
2 have kids
We’re a much larger team now than we were in 2019. I’m hoping to be able to say the same thing in 2021.
We also won some cool stuff.
As we moved to make our impact international, we also got recognized by global leaders. Here’s what we accomplished.
Made it to Gartner’s Cool Vendor List
Verloop was on the Gartner Cool Vendor List this year for Conversational Marketing.
A ‘Cool Vendor’ is defined as – A company offering a technology or service that is Innovative, Impactful and Intriguing.
Marketing leaders can employ conversational marketing technologies to reduce friction, improve service, drive conversions and raise satisfaction. These solutions, spanning web, mobile and social messaging, facilitate and orchestrate conversational experiences throughout the customer journey.
g2’s 2020’s chatbot Leader
G2 is a commerce-driven democracy in action. Users rate & recommend the best SaaS products around the world and G2 crowns a victor. Verloop was named one of the best Chatbot providers in 2020 across all segments.
I find software that I use every day on G2 all the time. I discovered Biteable, a DIY video-making platform software that helped me create videos like these.
Verloop received positive reviews across the board. From websites to social media, Verloop’s conversational marketing tools were touted in every quarter in 2019.
Rankings on G2 represent data provided by real users. We’re thankful since these awards represent the voice of the users across the globe and offer valuable insights into potential buyers everywhere.
g2’s Top 25 Indian saas companies
With the third-largest tech ecosystem in the world, India has built a strong reputation as a software development hub. We’re proud to announce that Verloop powers this movement by being one of India’s Top 25 software-as-a-service companies.
G2 recognized the work that Verloop was doing in the MEA and SEA markets, saying –
Verloop is placed amongst industry stalwarts like InMobi, HCL and Tally. Much like with our title of G2’s Chatbot Leader, we’re grateful first and foremost for our users’ continued support in our journey.
we Built new products
2019 saw the Verloop team launch WhatsApp Chatbots.
With the launch of WhatsApp’s Business APIs, Verloop became one of India’s fastest growing WhatsApp Chatbot providers.
These bots allowed companies to leverage WhatsApp’s large user base and conversational platform to send their customers updates, notifications, and messages.
WhatsApp sees open rates of 95%, 100% deliverability and 3x the conversion of traditional channels. We fully expect a WhatsApp Chatbot to be as commonplace as a Twitter page.
Big Moves, Literally.
Verloop moved around quite a lot in 2019. We had enterprise clients from 15+ new countries start using Verloop’s Chatbot and that number is set to grow further in 2020.
Most notably, we expanded our presence in South East Asia and the Middle East. We onboarded big-name customers like Sobha, Azizi, Fetchr, Aldar, Dar Al Arkan and SDC Cards in the Middle East.
What does 2020 hold for us?
The best way to predict the future is to create it. So who better to ask what 2020 holds for Verloop than one of the people who’s going to make these changes.
Piyush Mishra, CTO of Verloop: 2019 was a great year for Verloop. In 2019, we grew 1.5x every quarter, with 50 million conversations in the year. I expect 2020 to be even bigger, with changes being exponential instead of linear. Every new customer we onboard will bring us 6-figure conversations and by 2020 we expect volumes to grow 15x from where they are now.
Nirant Kasliwal, Head of Machine Learning: In 2020, Verloop will continue to build AI-powered tools for Assisting humans instead of competing with them. This will not only improve the experience of businesses but also their workforce which interacts with the end-user. The end-user experience of the bots has traditionally been less than ideal, and we will make steady progress in that. You can see one of the ways in which we are planning to do this here: Smart Reply for Chat by Verloop.
(Nirant also has a great book: You can read it here – Natural Language Processing with Python Quick Start Guide)
All in all, 2019 was great. 2020 should only be better. We’re grateful to everyone who’s supported us this year – from our investors, to our team and our customers. But most of all, you, the person reading this.
We hope to see you in 2021.