Below is our recent interview with Artjem Weissbeck, Founder of Charles
Q: Charles was founded in 2019, could you tell us your story and how did the idea behind Charles come about?
A: Charles originally started as Europe’s first WhatsApp store selling basic clothing. You could easily reorder socks or t-shirt via a quick text: “Hey Charles, I need another pack of my undies!”, was a typical message we would get. Customers loved it with incredible retention rates, but the backend of things was hard for us. No software was really tailored to connect conversation and conversion in one place, most were focused on service, not sales. After lots of brands asking us how we do it, we decided to pivot and make it easy for all brands out there to sell in chat. We´ve build our software in stealth mode in 2020 and see incredible demand from multiple industries since the official launch at the end of 2020. Our initial clothing brand still serves as a laboratory with real customers for agile development, real-time feedback on new features from our chatters and as a USP in understanding clients, we often anticipate their problems.
Q: How can your software help companies? What are your key features?
A: Ultimately our technology provides the operating system for companies to build up conversational commerce as a service and sales channel. The core of our software integrates Chat Apps like WhatsApp with Shop & CRM backends like Shopify, Salesforce or Hubspot in an intuitive interface that puts the human chat sales agent in the center, supported by chatbots and AI. Key use cases we enable are:
● Decision – questions around products, services, configuration, terms and how-to
● Transaction – seamlessly book/order & re-book/re-order via “chatoutTM” (in-chat checkout)
● Loyalty – ongoing and personalized relationships with customers without any log-in
Q: Could you tell us something about your enterprise pricing plan?
A: Businesses pay a monthly base fee to cover fix cost and success support. On-top of this we earn money from them being successful in terms of having more conversations with their customers and them purchasing via chat channels, where we take a small share of the net sales assuring, we are co-incentivized.
Q: You’ve recently raised €6.4 Million in Seed funding; can you tell us something more?
A: After launching publicly at the end of 2020, we received incredible demand from start-ups to enterprises in multiple verticals. Our first goal with the funding is to deepen our product and scale up our team, so we can onboard more clients. From there we are set to become the leading platform for Conversational Commerce in Europe, while we do all we can to build the strongest product globally. Accel and HV Capital have backed incredible global success stories, that is what we are set out to do and we couldn´t be more proud to be part of their families.
Q: What is next on the roadmap for Charles?
A: Making more clients happy and creating more awareness and a community around conversational commerce. The value it can unlock is incredible, a totally new dimension of customer personalization and conversion.