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future's bright

This startup founded by Irish guys is about to be HUGE... and they found a pretty unique way to tell people

Intercom, the “Whatsapp of customer service”, have announced a huge funding and jobs coup… with a cartoon.

IF YOU’RE SOMEONE who finds dealing with any form of business-related customer service as painful as pulling teeth, the success of service solutions startup Intercom should be music to your ears.

The company was founded in San Francisco in 2011 by four Irish men – Eoghan McCabe (CEO), Des Traynor, Ciaran Lee and David Barrett, and has gone from those four employees to 140 at present.

And that number is about to double again, with 70 of the jobs coming to Ireland. So how did they tell the world? Why with a cartoon strip of course.

McCabe took to his blog yesterday to announce the company had landed $35 million (€31 million) in Series C funding from investors – funding that will see their workforce double both in California and Dublin within the next year. And he did it in cartoon form by tracing the evolution of man to the frustrated customer so many of us find ourselves being today.


intercom1 Intercom Intercom

int3 Intercom Intercom

The general gist of the post is that humanity has been evolving since the dawn of time, and yet has regressed when it comes to communication to almost prehistoric levels with the dawn of the internet.

And Intercom aims to change all that.

int4 Intercom Intercom

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Speaking to, Intercom’s vice president of engineering Darragh Curran says that the company’s stated aim is to make customer service as simple and accessible “as dealing with Whatsapp”.

“Before when you were communicating with a company, internally their processes are really clunky, with many people talking to one person, wires being crossed, the same questions being asked over and over, we streamline all that,” he says.

We’re aiming to bring customer communications on a par with services like Whatsapp and Twitter – instant, accessible.

And the world is taking note. Intercom now have 7,000 paying customers (including public companies like, New Relic, and Shopify) in 85 countries, handling 250 million end customers. That’s not bad for four years work to put it mildly.

“We nearly tripled headcount in 2014, and already in 2015 have nearly doubled to over 140 employees,” McCabe said in the company’s industry release.

We’ll double globally again over the next 12 months, and build out our platform so every single team in a business can use Intercom for all customer communication.

mccabe Intercom CEO Eoghan McCabe LinkedIn LinkedIn

Those 140 employees are split evenly between R&D, engineering etc based off Stephen’s Green in Dublin, and sales and marketing in San Francisco.

“The rate at which we’re growing is fantastic – it lets us go full speed ahead for our pretty high ambitions,” says Curran.

We’ve grown revenue a hundred times since we formed and that makes all sorts of things possible.
What we’re really aiming for is a company that’s as pervasive as Facebook when it comes to dealing with businesses.

Lofty ambitions for sure, but they just might get there.

What we really want to know is: can they exorcise the living hell that is automated phone response systems (dial 1 for marketing, dial 2 to lose the will to live etc), the bane of consumer mankind.

“I’d like to think we can do so alright,” says Curran.

Amen to that.

int6 Intercom Intercom

int7 Intercom Intercom

Read: Facebook is testing out its own Siri-like service, but what is it?

Read: Burger King have asked McDonald’s to help create a McWhopper (it looks pretty amazing)

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