Monday 7th November was the day the news broke of our series B investment where we raised €9.25 million, led by Ventech.
To help our customers and potential new customers understand what this investment means for Freespee, we have sat down with our co-founder and CTO, Tobias Lindgren, to get his take on our recent funding.
HL: What does this funding mean for you and your team?
TL: I think the most exciting part of the funding is that we can now afford to innovate and try new ideas in a way not been possible before. We’ll have the freedom to have more fun and creativity in the business and ultimately develop new communication products throughout the next 12 months.
The funding will also give a different pace, a new tempo to the engineering teams here in Uppsala. We have the opportunity to grow and build on what we’ve got already. We’ve got so many ideas and now we’re in a position to bring them to the market.
I think we’ll also see a change in the positioning of the business from an infrastructure point of view. The additional funding will give us the possibility to have a more consultative approach with our existing and future clients. We’ll be able to work closely with them, to work out their issues and challenges and then figure out how they can use the Freespee conversation cloud to solve these problems.
HL: Thinking in broader terms outside of the Freespee proposition, do you think this investment has a wider meaning for our market?
TL: I definitely think the funding shows that the conversation market is maturing. We’re seeing a shift in the way that brands are able to talk to their customers and prospects. This significant investment shows that our investors recognise this opportunity and share our vision that brands need a solution to manage and personalise the communication experience of their customers regardless of the inbound channel.
Consumers and brands alike are starting to use new communication solutions through AI-bots, chat-bots, SMS, and messaging to build a relationship and achieve mutually beneficial goals, and this investment will bring more attention to this shift.
We have the opportunity to combine existing solutions with new ideas and we’re excited to be considered as pioneers in this evolving industry. We want to be at the forefront, educating the market to say that we can connect every conversation to improve the end customer’s experience – and it can be done, we are doing it now for our customers.
HL: Looking into the past slightly, what spurred you and Carl to create Freespee?
TL: Carl and I have an interesting working relationship – we complement each other with our different knowledge and ways of looking at a product.
Carl and I share the same enthusiasm and excitement for solving customer issues. We want to use new technology to make the consumer’s journey better.
It helps that we worked together previously, we trusted each other that we would work well together again. We both know that together we can bring an idea to the table, build it and sell it.
We also both really enjoy the pace and tempo of a start-up – its quick moving and things are constantly changing and evolving. I think that really motivated us to work together and create Freespee.
HL: Over the past 4 years would you say the business still holds on to your original mission statement or has the business vision changed?
TL: Our business vision has always stayed the same, as it's the reason we started Freespee in the first place. We want to offer online businesses a way to communicate with their customers that is more human.
It's more that the route we have taken to achieve this has changed many times - this is all part of being an agile start-up. The business needs to be flexible, to try new things and throw ideas out if they aren’t worth pursuing.
Our culture has also (and will also) stay the same. Then again, as a company grows, the culture kind of grows itself, which is what is happening at Freespee. We have a typically Swedish ideology and we try to make sure this permeates through the whole company.
HL: What are you looking forward to the most over the next 12 months?
TL: Honestly, I think I’m most excited about being able to grow the team and watching the company mature.
My role is already pretty customer-centric but I’m also super excited about being able to meet new customers and to watch us enter new markets and areas with these customers.
There you have it, we hope it was useful.
Stay tuned for tomorrow - we'll be posting our interview with Carl Holmquist, CEO, on what this funding means for him and the future of Freespee.