Charles raises $20m Series A to bring LatAm’s biggest e-commerce craze to Europe

Berlin-based conversational commerce startup Charles has raised $20m in Series A funding in a round led by Salesforce Ventures, with participation from Accel and HV Capital. Could it be the company that brings this sales model — popular in developing markets — to Europe? 

Charles’s SaaS solution helps e-commerce businesses sell products, send newsletters and support customers via chat apps like WhatsApp. Charles cofounder Andreas Tussing says that “doubling down” on conversion and retention is even more crucial during times of economic instability when retail demand falls. 

“Conversational commerce empowers brands to build stronger relationships with their potential and existing customers via ongoing and personalised conversations. This directly translates into better conversion rates and higher customer lifetime revenue,” he adds.

Charles says it has 100+ software customers — several of which are hitting seven-digit revenues in 2022, with 10-40% of their sales coming from chat apps.

Additionally, Charles’ customers have had 90% open rates on their newsletters and 8x more revenue per recipient since opting to send those newsletters via WhatsApp rather than email.

Charles makes money by charging businesses (with non-custom plans) a monthly base fee of €349-1,599. It also takes a “variable fee” per conversation and revenue in chat.  

Who’s investing in Charles?

  • Salesforce Ventures (has invested in some notable rounds in 2022, including Aiven’s $210m Series D and Sylvera’s $32m Series A)
  • Accel (existing)
  • HV Capital (existing)

Charles plans to expand to Italy, Spain, France, the Netherlands and the UK — where the company has already received “significant inbound” (though it already works with a select number of companies outside Europe).

It also plans to target larger enterprise clients for whom it’s harder to connect to the WhatsApp for Business app and usually need to use an API, mainly via technology partners like Charles.

Charles help brands pioneer Conversational Commerce thereby making shopping experiences easier and more personalised for customers. Congratulations on your funding. I’m certain this company will continue succeeding in its endeavours. All the best to the entire team at Charles.

Shishir Gupta, Founder and CEO, StartupLanes

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