TechRound co-founder Daniel Tannenbaum sat down with Jonathan Anguelov, co-founder of recently crowned tech unicorn Aircall, a company that has revolutionised how businesses use telephones for sales and customer service.
About the company: Aircall’s cloud-based phone software was founded in 2014 by French Olivier Pailhes, Jonathan Anguelov, Xavier Durand and Pierre-Baptise Béchu.
Recent funding: Following a recent Series D funding round led by Goldman Sachs Asset Management, the company is the 16th unicorn to hail from France.
Hi Jonathan, How Did Aircall Come About?
Anguelov: “We started Aircall in 2014 to essentially address the pain and hassle that businesses were having when managing their phone lines, especially with multiple numbers, the traditional desk phone and preference of many to use mobile phones.
“So we thought: how could we create a simplified telephone software that can be used for both smartphones and desktop? And Aircall was born.”
“Today Aircall is a cloud-based phone system for call centres, support lines and sales teams and for us it was key that it could be integrated with tools that companies were already using. Our initial challenge was finding a quick and efficient way to integrate with Zoho, Salesforce, Slack and HubSpot in just two clicks – and today that dream is a reality.”
How Does Aircall Work?
Anguelov: “Aircall customers can create local numbers at ease and it’s great if you are using a mobile phone to do sales, because you can just call someone back quickly – which is perfect if you are on the go.”
“Our software manages the call queue for you and your agents can start answering inbound calls. Agents can transfer calls and put customers on hold. Managers can see analytics clearly, monitor their calls and see how everyone is performing.”
“With our third party integrations, you could see your call information in your CRM to see if somebody on your team has already followed up on a lead. Or you could initiate a phone call from Zendesk if there’s an urgent support request.”
As a Startup, How Did You Get Customers?
Anguelov: “We started with the problem and that was putting in phone systems is a pain and we have simplified it. The traditional system was PBX and our role is to replace this with something easier. Being integrated with tools that customer services teams were already using was a fundamental point for us. Continuing to integrate with more third party tools is very important for us this year.”
“We currently have over 10,000 customers worldwide and despite being set up in France, this market is actually only 15% of our business, meanwhile we have around 1000 customers in the UK, the US is 35% of our revenue and we have a strong customer base in Australia.”
What Will Your Latest Funding Round Be Used For?
Anguelov: “With the new funding round, we plan to maximise our integrations with third-party tools and work with specific industries too to build out bespoke products.”
“There will be new offices in London and Berlin as well as new hires in the company’s existing offices based in New York (opened in 2016), Paris, Sydney and Madrid.”