Zendesk acquires AI startup Cleverly

Zendesk has announced that it has taken over early-stage artificial intelligence (AI) startup Cleverly, in a bid to enhance its customer service. The financial terms of the acquisition have not been made public yet.

AI-Supported Capabilities Are The Future

Cleverly was founded in 2019 at Lisbon, Portugal, and is one of the startups that have received funding under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 programme for research and innovation. The company is involved in providing a range of products which feature capabilities that are powered by artificial intelligence. This might explain why Zendesk sought to add the company into its arsenal, seeing as how one of the products developed by the Portuguese startup helps categorize workflow by providing a triage function that can tag incoming service requests automatically.

Other services include an “AI-powered human augmentation” through what is said to be the firm’s Agent Assist capability, allowing customer service agents to provide the right answers to customer queries. It has already been providing services to Zendesk, and the latter’s EVP of product, Shawna Wolverton, has said that the reason behind the acquisition happens to be similar sensibilities between both the companies, regarding the “future of customer service.” She add that through this deal, the two firms hope to “democratize AI,” so as to help their peers “develop practical applications” which can allow businesses to switch to AI easily, and without the need for a whole team of experts. She believes that AI is the answer to delivering enhanced customer service for better customer experience.

A Smart Move On Zendesk’s Part

All of the team at Cleverly will be joining Zendesk starting from August 30. Founder Christina Fonseca will be taking over as VP of Product, and Pedro Coelho will become the Principal Engineering Lead, Machine Learning.

This comes even as Zendesk already boasts of a number of AI-enabled capabilities, many of which can help it automate its conversations with customers, increase operational efficiency, and boost agent productivity. Its Content Cues is an AI-powered tool, which helps it review support tickets automatically, so as to identify areas where the company help center data needs to be updated.

Collaborating with Cleverly will bring about additional capabilities to the firm, and will help it automate its key insights, will also reducing its manual tasks and improving workflow. This will most probably help it better manage its thriving business, which recently reported second-quarter earnings of $318.2 million.

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