Conversational commerce startup Charles has raised $20 million in Series A funding to help European sellers benefit from e-commerce in WhatsApp.
Salesforce Ventures led the round in Berlin-based Charles, with participation from Accel and HV Capital.
Charles is an all-in-one, conversational-first operating system that promises to bring everything associated with e-commerce into WhatsApp and other chat apps. The company enables businesses to sell products, send newsletters and support customers with ongoing personalisation and deep system integration via chat.
The startup says that several of its 100+ software customers are hitting seven-digit WhatsApp revenues in 2022 and driving 10%-40% of their sales via chat. In addition, clients have had more than 90% opening rates and eight times more revenue per recipient via WhatsApp newsletters than via email.
With the new funding round, Charles plans to expand its operations from Germany into key European markets and target larger enterprise clients.
Artjem Weissbeck, co-CEO, Charles, says: “Since day one, our mission has been to make commerce more personal by bringing it into our most human habit: conversations. Rich messaging apps, like WhatsApp, have been proven to facilitate this in Latin America and Asia by combining sales, marketing and service in one ongoing conversation.
"This is something ecommerce has failed to do due to the forced marriage of web shops and emails. Conversational commerce is now sweeping over Europe and there’s never been a better way for brands to wow their customers.”