Hark Raises $3.5M Seed Round to Reinvent Voice-of-Customer Programs for the AI Era

Fran Brzyski
June 21, 2024
5 min read

Hark platform capabilities include video and audio customer feedback, AI-driven sentiment and data analysis and streamlined customer support

NEW YORK CITY, New York - June 18, 2024 – Today, Hark, the visionary Voice of Customer (VoC) platform, announced an oversubscribed $3.5M seed round, led by Oceans Ventures. This will help Hark drive their go-to-market strategy and continue to build out additional features of the platform, which is already in use at a number of companies. Hark aims to disrupt conventional VoC programs, pioneering a new way for customers to communicate with brands through asynchronous video & audio. 

"Consumers communicate in a multitude of different ways, yet organizations still optimize for plain-text resolutions and inefficient back-and-forth exchanges. We first started Hark to tackle that problem. Then we realized that we could go far beyond that," says Fran Brzyski, Hark CEO and Co-Founder. “We can invite the customer to be a part of the journey, and in turn, companies can understand their customer base at a deeper level.”  

The platform is designed for the modern era, offering customers the option to communicate through whatever method best suits them. Going beyond traditional customer feedback tools, the platform opens pathways for customers to communicate with companies; with the help of AI, it can then speed resolution of issues, perform detailed sentiment analysis across multiple customer touchpoints, and glean customer insights at scale.

With traditional VoC programs, companies must rely on limited data. Despite companies investing billions in customer feedback tools, they frequently find themselves with only superficial insights and biased survey responses that fail to capture the true sentiments of their audience. 

Customers trying to navigate the communication process, meanwhile, may find themselves trapped in a frustrating loop of lengthy email exchanges, transfers between agents, and requests for a “quick 30-second survey” before they’ve even reached a resolution. At best, this is an impractical way to capture feedback, leaving companies with incomplete data. At worst, it can lead to dissatisfied customers, churn, and damage to brand reputations. 

Hark set out to fix that. The resulting AI-driven platform specializes in synchronizing the customer voice and categorizing data, leading to faster feedback loops and a 40% reduction in the time required for manual analyses.

“Hark is truly transforming the way that companies starting with e-commerce communicate with their customers and helping companies move communication beyond CX.  The CEO, CFO, CMO, Procurement – all need to better understand how their customers are engaging with their products. Your customer is the lifeblood of your business, yet to date, most companies fly blind and have done a poor job turning customer support into a sales channel. Hark is changing that.” says Steven Rosenblatt, Co-Founder and General Partner at Oceans Ventures. 

Converge VC, Atman Capital, Alumni Ventures, BDMI Fund, Tenzing Capital and strategic angel investors also participated in the seed round.

“Hark is taking on a legacy market with a completely new approach. They are addressing a major issue in Voice of Customer programs, with an innovative AI-driven platform that combines front-line technology and a very human understanding of the customer,” says Nilanjana Bhowmik, Founder and General Partner at Converge VC. 

Hark's solution provides extensive context, leading to significant cost savings and operational efficiencies for brands. 

Partnering with D2C brands like Hexclad, Branch Furniture, Ouai Beauty, Fab Fit Fun and Ooni has resulted in a remarkable 20% increase in Customer Satisfaction (CSAT).

“Implementing Hark led to a 79% improvement in average resolution time, saving 92 hours for our team. Additionally, we discovered that with Hark, we were getting richer data from customers, leading to better resolutions and improved customer satisfaction. Our customers say that Hark makes it easy to get in touch with us,” says Michael Ludwig, Head of Customer Service at Hexclad. “The end result has been a boost in sales, improved efficiency (and corresponding cost savings) and happier customers — as well as a happier customer service team.”

“Context drives efficiency, and we are collecting an ocean of data,” says Matt Ring, Hark’s Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer. “The story behind the data really comes to life when it’s told through your customer’s point of view.”

About Hark

Hark is a New York City-based startup pioneering a new way for customers to communicate with brands through asynchronous video & audio. Hark's solution provides unparalleled context, leading to significant cost savings and operational efficiencies for brands. By gathering customer-generated content on a large scale and providing analysis through its AI-driven platform, Hark provides a fresh perspective on customer insights, reinventing how brands connect with their audience. Hark was founded in 2022 by Fran Brzyski and Matt Ring. For more information, visit www.sendhark.com.  

Fran Brzyski
June 21, 2024
3 min read

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