NewVoiceMedia Picks Up Another $35M Led By Bessemer As Contact Centers Take To The Clouds

With APIs from the likes of Twilio (and emerging Layer) fuelling a new concept of how cloud-based archictecture can be applied to the worlds of telephony and communications, UK startup NewVoiceMedia is today announcing a new round of $35 million to build out its business applying this idea to the world of call centers.

This Series C round is led by a new investor, Bessemer Venture Partners, along with participation from existing investors Highland Capital Partners Europe, Eden Ventures and Notion Capital. It’s the second round of funding announced by NVM this year, after a $20M Series B round in January. It brings the total raised by the company to $61.3 million.

That past round was raised to help NVM expand to North America, and this is also partly where this latest investment will go. “It will be used for further research and development, expansion throughout the U.S. and APAC, including new offices in New York, building an execution capability in sales, marketing and professional services and developing a global network,” Jonathan Gale, the company’s CEO, tells me. Current customers include Parcelforce, QlikView, DPD, SHL Group and Topcon Positioning Systems.

Gale tells me that although NewVoiceMedia has had its eye on North America for a while, the office there actually only opened in August of this year, in San Francisco. This gives it a strategic proximity not just to customers but to partners in the wider landscape of cloud-based business services. “The company’s solutions were already widely used in the U.S., but the new office has brought the company closer to customers in the region, as well as Salesforce,” Gale says. Some 20% of NewVoiceMedia’s seats are in North America currently.

The company is still at an early stage of growth. It currently has some 150 employees, and at the end of fiscal year 13 had revenues just under $10 million. “Post investment, we are looking to grow to 100% per annum over the next two years – driven from the U.S.,” he says.

And similarly, cloud services are at an early stage in the world of contact centers. While companies like Salesforce and Box, and trends around smartphones and tablets, have done a lot to bring cloud services into more mainstream enterprise discourse, this is still only starting to have an impact on an industry full of legacy, with large, physical spaces invested with millions of dollars of physical equipment.

Making the shift to software-based systems, where people can be more distributed and many functions more automated, almost certainly makes better business sense, but retiring the older systems will not be done overnight. NVM hopes, however, that when it happens, it will be the one to be at the forefront.

“The contact centre market is realising the power of the cloud and this is bringing rapid change to the industry, mirroring the Salesforce-led transformation of the CRM market,” Gales says. “It’s a very exciting phase and we are pleased to be driving this change. Our true cloud technology is available, secure and scalable, and we’re continually tapping into major developments in social media and mobile devices to make sure every customer interaction is a great experience.”

NVM’s early-mover position is also what attracted BVP to the deal. “We have been interested in the potential that an emerging player has to disrupt the massive contact centre market globally. NewVoiceMedia really stood out to us with its full suite of true cloud, multi-tenant, contact centre capabilities, built entirely in-house,” noted
Alex Ferrara, partner at Bessemer Venture Partners, in a statement.

It looks like this could be the first of other investments for BVP in this space, and specifically around European startups, which have been strong in the area of enterprise and cloud services. “Bessemer Venture Partners believes cloud computing is the most significant trend in the software industry of the decade,” Ferrara says. “We are actively seeking to expand our portfolio of European cloud vendors and consider businesses with a compelling proposition, at all stages, from seed to growth.”