By Katy Spence
Why can’t you text a company just as easily as you can text a friend?
That’s the problem Mike Myer wanted to fix when he co-founded Quiq, a Bozeman-based startup building an enterprise customer engagement platform. In late July, Foundry Group led the $12.5 million Series B investment into Quiq. The group was introduced to Quiq by Next Frontier Capital’s Will Price, which has also invested in the company.
Myer said the investment confirms the need for Quiq’s platform and paves the way for future developments that will make customer communications easier and more intuitive.
“This investment validates our vision that digital engagement channels, like messaging and chat, are the future of consumer communications and that asynchronous messaging will be the foundation of the next generation enterprise contact center,” Myer said in a press release.
Quiq will use the funding to continue building out the platform and make it “smarter” with bots and artificial intelligence, according to the press release. Myer added that the company is looking for more convenient and innovative ways to engage customers through messaging.
“It’s my belief that more and more of what today happens on the phone or on a website will happen inside a messaging conversation, either with a human or a bot,” Myer said.
For example, Quiq is developing a feature that will allow customers to shop, add items to a cart, and check out all within a messaging window where they are chatting with a company representative.
The company is also planning to grow their team of 40 by about 50 percent in the next year, increasing their engineering and marketing teams in Bozeman, and sales teams around the country.
A computer scientist by training, Myer moved to Montana two decades ago to join RightNow Technologies as their CTO and seventh employee. Myer worked for Oracle for a few years following the 2012 acquisition, then moved to work for a New York-based startup, eventually deciding to tackle improving consumer-to-company communications through his own startup.
He co-founded Quiq with a fellow RightNow alum, Bill O’Neill, in 2015 with the goal of making it as easy to message a company with a question as it is to connect with family and friends. With 10 engineers, Myer and O’Neill spent the first year building a communications platform, drawing from their years of experience working in enterprise customer communications at RightNow and Oracle.
In 2017, the Quiq team launched their product and started selling it. Today, they have over 120 clients across a number of industries, who are seeing up to five times the return on investment using the platform.
With the new investment from Foundry and existing investments from Venrock for $6.5 million and Next Frontier Capital, Myer said the company is poised to see significant growth in the coming year.
“We’ve barely scratched the surface of what’s possible in messaging,” Myer said.
About the Author: Katy Spence is the Communications Director for the Montana High Tech Business Alliance. She worked previously with the Missoula Current and Treesource, and has an Environmental Journalism Master’s Degree from the University of Montana.
About the Publisher: Launched in 2014, the Montana High Tech Business Alliance is an nonpartisan nonprofit association of more than 370 high tech and manufacturing companies and affiliates creating high-paying jobs in Montana. For more information, visit MTHighTech.org or subscribe to our biweekly newsletter.