Cresta launches out of stealth with $21M in funding from Andreessen Horowitz, others to provide AI for the human side of your contact center
Cresta, an AI startup that was spun out of the Stanford Artificial Intelligence lab, announced it has closed $21 million in funding to enable office workers to be experts on day one. Backers for the funding include Greylock Partners, Andreessen Horowitz, Andy Bechtolsheim, Mark Leslie and Vivi Nevo.
In conjunction with the funding, Cresta also announced that its transformative software for contact centers, a $310 billion market, is now available to the public. Fortune 500 companies using Cresta are already seeing their agents become more effective and more efficient, and ramp up in significantly less time.
Founded in 2017 by Zayd Enam, Tim Shi, and Sebastian Thrun, the Palo Alto, California-based Cresta is a developer of an artificial intelligence platform designed to help scale and improve the quality of customer services. The company’s artificial intelligence assistant surfaces the right information at the right time from sales agents and augments the rest of the team by increasing their conversion rate and efficiency, enabling organizations to double the productivity of their sales team.
Cresta uses AI to codify the psychology, behavior, and language that top contact center agents use to achieve successful outcomes. Once this expertise is learned, Cresta re-distributes it to every agent in real-time, effectively turning every agent into an immediate expert. The software continues to learn and adapt over time, enabling agents to more quickly adapt to changing customer and business needs. This results in hundreds-of-millions of dollars in incremental revenue driven by the software.
“The last major technology revolution out of Stanford’s AI lab was the foundational tech for self-driving cars which led us to think, ‘Where could we have an even bigger impact based on the amount of time that people spend their day?’” said Zayd Enam, co-founder and CEO of Cresta. “When we learned it takes 7 months for contact center agents to ramp up with an average tenure of only 11 months, we knew we had to start there.”
“Contact centers are undergoing a significant transformation as AI automates basic tasks and agents need to be upskilled to better focus on interactions with customers,” said Saam Motamedi, Cresta Investor and Partner at Greylock. “Cresta’s technology improves contact center agents’ effectiveness and accelerates productivity, and enables the companies using them to deliver differentiated customer experiences. We’re thrilled to partner with Zayd, Tim and Sebastian as they grow their solution for this important market shift.”
“Zayd and Tim are visionary co-founders who are solving the fundamental human problem of how expertise is gained and shared,” said Cresta co-founder and Chairman, Sebastian Thrun. “In the lab, Zayd built early versions of Cresta that doubled the throughput of partner sales teams and increased effectiveness by 54%. When we saw those results, we knew we were on to something huge. I can’t wait to see how Cresta grows from here.”
“For any sales organization, the question is always how do you make every salesperson as good as the best one,” said Ben Horowitz, co-founder of Andreessen Horowitz and an early investor in Cresta. “This is very much a human enhancement problem and Zayd, Tim, and Sebastian are the right team to tackle it. We are thrilled to partner with them on this endeavor.”