Source: Tom Jackson/ Disrupt Africa

Nigerian startup eBanqo is using AI to help businesses automate customer engagements, resulting in faster resolution of customer issues and reduced wait times.

eBanqo was formed in 2019, and launched its product in July 2020. That product allows businesses to combine all their engagement channels, including web, mobile, Google Business, Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, and Instagram, on one omni-channel platform.

“When customers come on these channels, they get instant answers to questions, resolve issues themselves, perform transactions, or chat with a support or sales representative if necessary. The platform enables a smooth transition between AI bots and human agents, who can simultaneously engage with multiple customers from different channels on one screen,” founder and CEO Charles Ifedi told Disrupt Africa.

Businesses of all sizes, especially B2C businesses, require affordable tools that can facilitate prompt and satisfactory customer engagement.

“When customers encounter issues with companies, they face challenges in accessing timely resolution. Companies require that their customers interact with them through engagement channels like phone calls and email, which are slow and inconvenient, and do not provide the immediacy that customers have come to expect,” Ifedi said.

eBanqo provides that immediacy, and in doing so is competing against CRM providers and chatbot builders. But unlike CRM providers that require their clients to use their CRM, eBanqo comes pre-integrated to several CRMs, and can integrate to any CRM that clients use.

“Most chatbot builders either provide DIY chatbots or specific channels, while eBanqo works with companies to achieve “deep” and customised chatbot automations for up to 80 per cent of their customer-facing processes on all their channels,” Ifedi said.

eBanqo was initially self-funded, but has since raised funds from friends, family and VCs. Uptake has been impressive. The startup’s platform is used by several businesses in banking, fintech, insurance, and other B2C sectors. Over 100,000 customers chat with these businesses monthly on their channels, or the eBanqo chat app or website.

An online SaaS platform that can be used by any business globally, eBanqo is currently focused on English-speaking Africa, but has aspirations to expand to the UK, US, Canada and the Caribbean.

“Our clients are charged a monthly subscription fee based on the number of their customers that use the solution and the number of channels they license. For example, a client that leverages one channel and 600 monthly chat-customers pays less than a client that has 20,000 monthly chat-customers on four channels,” said Ifedi.

What has changed in the AI space since eBanqo launched?

“We have been in the AI space for more than two years and we felt that we were doing good work, and then ChatGPT launched. It showed a glimpse of what’s possible in AI and that we were just scratching the surface. We’ve now added Generative AI capabilities to our platform and continue to explore ways to make our product even better,” said Ifedi.

Source: Tom Jackson/ Disrupt Africa