Instead of contracting with one of the many independent information technology (IT) consultancies or building an in-house team of IT professionals, some small and medium-sized businesses are instead opting for a different approach to IT support.
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NYC-based Electric (formerly known as Electric AI) is a provider of real-time IT support services, facilitated through chat. The company offers troubleshooting, system administration, and software maintenance consultation through chat, and can deploy an in-the-flesh expert in situ for specialized work that can’t be facilitated over text.
Today, Electric announced that it’s raised $25 million “as part of a Series B” round, according to a statement the company provided to Crunchbase News. The round was led by GGV Capital; Bessemer Venture Partners, which led Electric’s Series A round in March 2018, followed-on in the Series B round announced today.
The round brings some new folks to the company. As part of the transaction, GGV Capital’s managing partner, Jeff Richards, joins Electric’s board of directors. He appears to replace Michael C. Brown, founder and managing partner of Bowery Capital, who was on Electric’s board as of Series A, which Crunchbase News covered at the time. Bessemer partner Bob Goodman, Primary Venture Partners GP Brad Svrluga, and Blackbird CEO Rudd Davis remain on the board.
Additionally, the company announces that it’s added a chief operating officer and a VP of sales to its leadership team. Rani Yadev is the new COO at Electric. Previously, she was VP of marketing at meal kit delivery company Blue Apron. David Weiner was brought on as Electric’s VP of sales after scaling the inside sales team at real estate tech upstart Compass.
For now, the expert on the other side of the chat window is more often than not a human. But that will change over time. Back when Electric raised its Series A round, CEO Ryan Denehy told Crunchbase News that “about 50 percent of support tickets aren’t about fixing broken things, but doing stuff like setting up an email address, turning on a firewall, or connecting to an enterprise platform.” Workflows can be established for that sort of routine issue, and be facilitated using AI-backed chat bots.
In a statement, Denehy said that “This past year has brought exponential growth for Electric and I’m proud to call us the fastest-growing company in our competitive set.” The company says it now has more than 300 customers and serves the IT demands of over 10,000 of their employees.
Denehy told Crunchbase News that the company earned a “nine-figure” valuation in the deal. It’s possible that this is only part of a larger capital-raising campaign by the company.
Illustration: Li-Anne Dias