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Saturday, February 4, 2023

TheyDo fires the starting gun on the race to own the customer journey • TechCrunch


It doesn’t matter what kind of web site it is, the ‘customer journey’ has always been important, otherwise you lose that engagement and the end result can hit the bottom line. That was always the case.

But in the modern era, customers expect an easy and simple experience, otherwise they move elsewhere. And with the enormous digitisation that’s taken place since COVID, the competition to be better is vast. Furthermore, the pandemic also created all sorts of new problems, because hybrid or remote teams now work at different times, leading to a spaghetti junction of data.

Startups like Milkymap (The Netherlands), Smaply (Austria) and Journeytrack (US) have appeared, attempting to address this burgeoning market, although it’s unclear if any of those have yet raised venture financing.

So in some sense the starting gun on this market has now been fired with the news that TheyDo has now raised a €12 million series A round is led by Blossom Capital, with participation from 20VC, also London-based. Participating in this round are were Angels such as Des Traynor (Intercom) Founder and Grisha Pavlotsky (Miro), as well as other senior angels from unicorns such as Figma, Snowflake, Calendly, Retool and Amplitude.

TheyDo’s ‘Journey Management’ platform tackles what’s known as ‘customer-centric alignment’, sector forecasted to be worth $48.5 billion by 2023 (according to Future Market Insights).

TheyDo purports to show businesses where all the incoming metrics and quantitative data is linked to, where the data is coming from, and how all that impacts the customer journey. This means that teams from CX to product, marketing, sales, and customer success have a more comprehensive ‘dashboard’ on the issues, in order to monitor and improve things.

Founded by Jochem van der Veer, Charles Beaumont and Martin Palamarz, TheyDo says it is now used by teams from Atlassian, Cisco, IBM, Johnson & Johnson, T-Mobile and Qualtrics.

Over a call, TheyDo cofounder Jochem van der Veer told me large businesses now put a premium on customer experience: “There is a mindset shift going on where these companies are now realising that organising around their customer journey is just the only way that they can stay relevant. And they are lacking tools to actually support that workflow.”

Warming to that theme, Harry Stebbings, founder of 20VC, added: “With the increasing consumer expectation of products there’s just a real fragmentation of roles within companies. When we look now at all the different roles within product from product management, product marketing, and everything in between, the fragmentation of all these different functions means that it’s harder and harder to create one great unified experience because you’re working in isolation. And so the specialisation of these roles means having one unified stream to create that great experience is more and more important.”

That’s where TheyDo comes in, says van der Veer: “It really is this whole way of organising large organisations internally, taking into account the customers perspective. And that is the massive trend going on that TheyDo is addressing.”

He says its customers now range from the Dutch Postal Service, to Johnson and Johnson, to Atlassian.

Interestingly, the journey towards the TheyDo product came out of van der Veer’s and his co-founders experience as an CX agency (or “SWAT team” as he calls it) where they would go into a company to figure out what was going wrong. Out of that experience they produced a product to ‘scratch their own itch’ and this eded up being TheyDo.

“We got hired as a consulting company into these large fortune 500 businesses to transform them from the inside. But we realised to scale our business we needed some software to to expand that we were doing. Eventually our customer would say ‘can we hire you to do this work and can we also get that tech solution you have?’ That’s when we realised there might be something bigger here,” he told me.

Stebbings points out that this is exactly a pattern he looks for in startups, as an investor: “I learned there’s a pattern when you have agencies that turn into products because they build them internally and their customers love them. From Intercom to MailChimp. They tend to work out very well.”

That remains to be seen in TheyDo’s case. However, it’s clear Blossom and 20VC are both counting on history repeating itself.

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