Techstars Seattle grad Insent raises $2M to take on Drift and Intercom with B2B marketing chatbot

Insent co-founders Arjun Pillai (left) and Prasanna Venkatesan. (Insent Photo)

Insent landed $2 million to help mid-market B2B companies improve how they identify and communicate with potential buyers.

The Seattle-based startup sells a “human-first” chatbot that integrates with marketing and sales platforms, and helps start conversations with new site visitors.

“By guiding their buyers at the right time and proactively alerting your salespeople, Insent generates new revenue opportunities and accelerate existing ones,” said co-founder and CEO Arjun Pillai.

The company has about 50 customers including Agora.io, Andela, PathFactory, Cleo, and others. Its main competitors are Drift and Intercom.

Insent graduated from the Techstars Seattle accelerator in 2019. Pillai previously started and sold Profoundis (acquired by FullContact in 2016). His co-founder is Prasanna Venkatesan, a former IBM engineer who also co-founded another company.

Pillai said the pandemic has presented a double-edged sword. Many marketing teams reduced budgets, which increased Insent’s sales cycles and pushed deals out. But companies are now adopting tools to help with digital customer acquisition, and chat is high on their list, Pillai said. Revenue has quadrupled since May.

Insent has 40 employees spread between the U.S., Canada, and India.

Emergent Ventures led the round, which included participation from BAM Ventures, Techstars, Arka Venture Labs, and Arali Ventures. Bizible founder Aaron Bird is also an investor in the company.

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