Auckland SaaS start-up secures $6.7m investment following mobile launch

Auckland SaaS start-up secures $6.7m investment following mobile launch

AskNicely using real-time customer feedback to fuel business growth.

Aaron Ward - Co-founder and CEO, AskNicely

Aaron Ward - Co-founder and CEO, AskNicely

AskNicely, the Auckland-based customer feedback software start-up, has announced a $6.7 million strategic capital raise led by Blackbird Ventures.

The financing coincides with the launch of AskNicely for iPhone, billed as the “world’s first” software-as-a-service (SaaS) mobile app to enable staff to monitor and act on Net Promoter Score (NPS) results in real-time.

“Great businesses are built on repeat, happy customers yet many businesses have no idea whether customers are actually happy until it’s too late,” AskNicely co-founder and CEO Aaron Ward said.

“Our mission is to help businesses grow faster by acting on customer feedback to increase customer loyalty, spend and referrals.”

Launched in 2014, AskNicely is a SaaS platform designed to help businesses deliver standout experiences to every customer, every time leveraging the NPS framework.

“Now, with our new mobile app, it’s incredibly easy incorporate real time feedback into the daily routine for everyone from the CEO to front line staff,” Ward explained.

“The ability to intercept a negative experience, or celebrate positive ones, is transformational for our clients and is now made even more accessible on our mobile app.

“Between meetings, on the train to work, in fact whenever you want, we are the only NPS SaaS product to offer live updates from your customers with the opportunity to respond personally, all at your fingertips.”

According to Ward, NPS is widely regarded as the “gold standard” as a means to measure of customer satisfaction, used heavily across service industries in particular.

Aaron Ward - Co-founder and CEO, AskNicely
Aaron Ward - Co-founder and CEO, AskNicely

Inspired by the practices of customer-centric heavyweights such as Uber, AirBnB and Amazon, Kiwis Aaron Ward and John Ballinger set out in 2014 to create a “simple, lightweight method” of collecting feedback that integrates directly into the world’s most popular SaaS platforms including Salesforce, Slack, Intercom, HubSpot, Zendesk, Shopify and dozens more.

“In each of our prior investments, NPS has been the truth serum that reveals the quality of a business and predicts their future success,” added Blackbird co-founder Niki Scevak, who is also joining the company board.

“But far too many companies just measure and don’t act. We’re thrilled to join AskNicely to help more of the world’s companies become customer obsessed.”

Over the past 12 months, AskNicely - which is a start-up finalist in the 2017 Reseller News ICT Industry Awards - has increased annual revenue by 350 per cent, opened new offices in Portland, Oregon as well as Auckland, New Zealand, and grown to a team of 20.

Furthermore, the company has consistently been the highest rated enterprise feedback software according to G2 Crowd, with current customers including Jetstar Airways, Xero, Deliveroo, Seagate and the Dallas Mavericks NBA team.

Currently, Jetstar are using AskNicely to help transform customer experience capabilities.

By collecting post-flight feedback the airline is able to deliver real-time NPS and feedback onto live dashboards across the business and respond directly to customers as issues are raised.

As a result, everyone from frontline crew and call centre teams through to the head office support and executive teams now has direct line of sight to what customers are saying about their experience.

“The AskNicely app has been one of the most exciting additions to our customer toolkit this year enabling me to put travel time to good use checking in on what our customers are saying and engaging with them directly from my phone,” Jetstar head of customer strategy Cath Stone added.

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