Getting potential customers to answer sales calls and text messages can be a Sisyphean task. According to According to a 2020 LinkedIn report, about 69% of prospects accepted a call from a new salesperson in the previous year, but it took an average of 18 calls to connect with the buyer. That’s not surprising – after all, few people appreciate unsolicited pitches. But some people argue that cold calling can be successful if approached in the right way.
One of those people is Alex Levin, the CEO and co-founder of the New York City-based Regal.io. Together with Rebecca Greene, he launched Regal to build a tech stack for powering calls and messaging that could give customers, as well as sales and marketing teams, a better outbound calling experience.
“After [our] Experience building a telephone sales force at Angi on traditional omnichannel contact center software, Rebecca and I realized that there had been a massive under-investment in outbound calling technology, limiting the way sales and marketing teams could use the channel,” she said. Levin londonbusinessblog.com via email Before Angi, Levin worked at Thomson Reuters as a product manager, while Greene was a senior product manager in Amazon’s digital music team. “We founded Regal to build a brand new tech stack for [calls] that would…give brands the tools to generate more revenue through this critical channel.”
Investors seem to believe in the vision. Regal today closed a Series A financing round of $38.5 million and valued it at $350 million post-money, with Emergence Capital leading and Founder Collective, Homebrew, Flex Capital, Inspired Capital and Operator Collective. The new money brings Regal’s total capital raised to $42.1 million, and will be spent on go-to-market and engineering initiatives, as well as personnel, Levin said.
Regal provides a dashboard of call and SMS tools, information about where customers are in the sales pipeline, and potential friction points. A “journey builder” allows users to trigger phone calls and text messages to “gifted” buyers at certain times; the platform determines intent based on data such as customer website usage, customer relationship management data, and other general behavioral information. Another feature, Branded Caller ID, changes the caller ID on cell phones from an unknown number to the name of the brand, so customers know who is calling.
“Every digital brand uses a stack of one-way marketing automation tools to try and re-sell to ‘abandoned’ customers, and they’re seeing diminishing returns in those one-way channels,” Levin said. “The key to a higher conversion is conversations. Regal’s solution leverages event-driven customer engagement to spark a conversation with a knowledgeable human at key moments — it’s the personal touch for the digital marketing era.”
In a sign that Regal’s vision is resonating with at least some customers, the platform now conducts more than a million calls per month for brands including Angi (formerly Angie’s List), Career Karma, Fidelity Life and SoFi. The startup’s customer base now numbers more than 100 marketing and sales teams.
It’s impressive momentum, to be sure. But the trick will be to maintain it in the face of competition from companies like Five9, Genesys, Talkdesk, Twilio and Plivo – many of which have millions or even billions in funding behind them. Levin argues that Regal’s advantage is its focus on a niche that others largely miss, namely business-to-consumer companies that sell online and need human intervention to convert a customer when they’ve abandoned a shopping cart or purchase stream.
“Especially in a recession, companies are focused on converting more of the existing prospects coming to their site. This focus has been positive for us because that’s part of the funnel that we’re positively impacting,” Levin said. He added that Regal plans to double its 80-strong workforce within the next 12 months.