Telstra Ventures has announced an investment in Boomtown. Boomtown is a US based company that provides a solution for delivering software and technical services support to SME’s. According to Crunchbase Boomtown received $2.3 million in investment as recently as June 2016. This latest investment should see the company expand into Australia as Telstra are trialling their App.
Boomtown offers the Boomtown connect app for SME’s to communicate with technical support teams regardless of their location. According to Telstra they developed the app in collaboration with Apple. Interestingly it is available from both the Apple and Google app stores. SME’s use the app to communicate immediately and in real time with technical support. It supports both audio and video technologies.
The connection also supports a call between multiple providers. This means that small businesses are able to access crucial support immediately without waiting for a return call or an appointment. Where the blame game starts to happen they can connect both parties on the call and get a resolution much faster.
Boomtown believes that the technology reduces support time by 50%. For support companies looking to offer specialist services the saving is likely to be far higher. Mark Sherman, Managing Director of Telstra Ventures sees the investment in bringing Boomtown to Australia as benefiting Telstra customers. He commented: “Boomtown is enjoying great success in the United States with the growing popularity of their social support platform, which allows technology and service providers to easily collaborate and solve technology problems for their small business customers in real time. Looking around in this rapidly changing market they stood out as having a simple service that their customers love”
Boomtown Growth in the US
In the US, Boomtown has been very successful. It has signed up over 610 customers and several support companies. The extra funds should help its expansion in its home region. Alfred “Chip” Kahn IV, Founder and CEO of Boomtown is clearly pleased with the new agreement. He said: “We are looking at expanding the geographical footprint of our platform, and with its strong customer base both in Australia and Asia, Telstra’s investment plays a significant part in that endeavour.”
That this international expansion has come so early in its lifecycle is an endorsement of the platform. It should help Boomtown expand faster and wider. It will be interesting to see whether other companies look to leverage the technology, either in the Americas, Asia, Africa or Europe.
It seems likely that Telstra will look to deploy the platform for themselves. The initial use will be to allow its own service professionals to connect with small businesses across Australia. Khan added: “As SMBs increasingly rely on complex and integrated technologies to operate and grow, the traditional fragmented support market is unable to deliver the seamless support experience that business owners need. We expressly designed our platform to solve this problem and we’re excited to partner with Telstra to help small businesses in Australia take full advantage of today’s powerful technologies.”
This is an interesting investment by Telstra. It delivers a technology into their hands that they can rapidly leverage. The exact terms of the deal were not revealed. However it seems likely that Telstra will host the solution using it internally. They might also open to up to partners who offer niche services similar to Boomtown in the US. What is interesting is that the software is very accessible and will help Telstra connect with more of its customers.
In fact the application could be widened to general support for home customers as well. It is a market that Boomtown may already have considered but would mean more white label deals like the one Telstra appears to have done.