Enterprise Service Management Company Espressive Closes $30 Million

By Dan Anderson ● March 26, 2020
  • Espressive, a pioneer in AI for enterprise service management (ESM), announced it raised $30 million in Series B funding led by Insight Partners

Espressive — a pioneer in AI for enterprise service management (ESM) — announced it raised $30 million in Series B funding led by Insight Partners with participation from existing investors General Catalyst and Wing Venture Capital. In connection with the funding round, Insight Partners co-founder and managing director Jeff Horing is also joining the Espressive Board of Directors.

Espressive will be using the funding round to fuel company growth and product innovation while addressing the demands of its rapidly growing customer base. Espressive Barista — which is the company’s virtual support agent (VSA) — is known for automating help desks by connecting employees to the information they need.

Businesses that use AI and other emerging technologies will capture $1.2 trillion in revenue a year, growing at least 8x faster than the global GDP, according to Forrester Research. Using Barista, Espressive provides businesses with an AI-based ESM solution that benefits enterprise employees and help desk agents. In another announcement, Espressive revealed new innovations to Barista that make it possible to automate help desks with AI, minimize tier 1 support, and provide users with consumer-like self-help.

With the funding, Espressive will continue to build on the company’s Natural Language Processing (NLP) engine and the Barista Employee Language Cloud (ELC). The ELC provides personalized responses to commonly asked questions with the ability to understand 750 million phrases and growing. And as employees ask questions, Barista learns new phrases, phrase structures, synonyms and topics, enabling the ELC to expand and grow automatically.

The ELC also uses machine learning to identify the correct team or department when a question can’t be immediately answered. And as a result, organizations using Barista can build a highly scalable conversational AI agent optimized to understand the language of employees without the need for AI expertise.

Key Quotes:

“We’ve received overwhelmingly positive feedback from our customers and prospects about Barista. To address this demand and accelerate expansion into new markets and use cases, we will use this funding to further scale our engineering, sales, and marketing teams as well as continue to cultivate our partner program. Looking ahead, we’re uniquely positioned to continue our rapid growth, while maintaining our relentless focus on building a highly scalable conversational AI agent that understands the language of employees.”

“The IT service management (ITSM) market is focused on building solutions to make IT more productive. That means when employees need help, they connect with someone in IT who leverages automation on an ITSM platform. Espressive Barista automates the service desk by connecting employees directly to the answers they need through AI. The new product advancements improve the self-help experience for both employees and help desk agents, resulting in a greater ROI to the enterprise.”

-Pat Calhoun, CEO and founder of Espressive

“Successful adoption of intelligent automation tools like chatbots requires that employees be able to communicate in ways that come naturally to them. That is why investments in NLP, like the one made by Espressive, are so important for intelligent automation because they offer employees a way to ask questions or make requests without first learning what syntax is acceptable to the bot or forcing their communication to fit into a limiting framework. This streamlines the adoption process and boosts the potential improvements to productivity the tools can bring.”

-Conner Forrest, senior analyst at 451 Research

“Competitors leverage traditional machine learning classifiers for their NLP, but that requires too much data, time, and manpower to accurately interpret the broad language of employees. Espressive designed a unique NLP technology built upon an image recognition architecture, enabling Barista to understand the true meaning behind a phrase. As an example, if an employee says, ‘I have an issue with my laptop,’ Barista correctly routes that as an IT incident. And if the employee re-organizes those words to say, ‘issue me a new laptop,’ Barista knows that is an IT service request.”

-Fran Fernandez, Chief Product Officer of Espressive

“Adoption of AI for IT service management (ITSM) and ESM is exploding and Espressive’s advanced automation capabilities stand to significantly disrupt this evolving market. We were immediately impressed with Espressive Barista and its ability to provide an innovative solution that expands beyond the ITSM use case into HR, facilities, and more. This sentiment was further validated by comprehensive feedback we received from Espressive’s partners and customers which resulted in a net promoter score of 73, placing Espressive in the ‘excellent’ category. We are excited to work with Espressive to scale its product and become a leader in the ITSM and ESM space.”

-Jeff Horing, co-founder and Managing Director at Insight Partners