Heyday Technologies secures $2M seed financing led by Innovobot

Heyday Technologies Inc. has raised $2 million in seed funding led by Innovobot with participation of Desjardins Capital and a group of strategic investors.

In conjunction with the financing, Innovobot’s Santo Manna has joined Heyday’s board of directors.

Founded in 2016, Montreal based Heyday helps e-commerce brands monetize their customer service through AI-powered chat.

photo credit: Heyday

Company Blog

Heyday raises $2M to power a new era of bespoke customer experiences with Conversational AI

Today’s investment represents 2 million good reasons to believe in ourselves and our mission. In welcoming these strategic investors, we’ll be able to support and expand Heyday’s engineering, research and product teams, and to accelerate our global expansion in the United States and continental Europe.

April 23, 2019 Etienne Mérineau

Today is a great day for Heyday and our mission of ushering in a new era of personalized customer experiences. My partners and I have reached an exciting milestone in our amazing journey: We’ve closed a seed financing round of $1.7 million led by Innovobot with Desjardins Capital and a string of strategic investors.

Humble beginnings 🌱

The entrepreneurial journey is filled with magical serendipity. Just when you’re hoping for that next breakthrough, the universe gives you a little nudge in the right direction.

When I began this venture into the fascinating world of Conversational AI in 2016, I was desperately seeking a CTO to complement my non-technical background in marketing and product design. Who knew that I’d find not one but three CTOs all at once? Steve Desjarlais, Hugues Rousseau, David Bordeleau and I all landed on the exact same desk island in a downtown Montreal co-working space.

As we shook hands and introduced ourselves, we quickly realized that we were all working on the same fringe piece of tech known as chatbots. A then-new buzzword, most people outside the confines of Silicon Valley had never heard of it, let alone in Montreal, Canada. Despite coming from drastically different backgrounds, the chemistry was instant. We quickly started collaborating on projects and client pitches before officially incorporating together in June 2017, and the rest is history. To this day, I still pinch myself: What are the odds! These guys have more than 60 years of software development experience combined, and before we joined forces, they were collectively managing more than 140 developers. I’m blessed and honoured to call them my partners. (#LuckyMe)

With our diverse backgrounds in gaming (Ubisoft), retail (Lightspeed), cloud infrastructure and telecom (Genband/Ribbon Communications), and digital advertising (Dentsu Aegis Network), we all shared a common desire to empower businesses to, and allow me to be blunt, make e-commerce suck less. In more poetic terms, we saw an opportunity to make online shopping more delightful, meaningful and personal with a little help from AI.

Powering customer-obsessed brands and the future of CX 🛍️

The old way of marketing to, selling to, and serving customers is broken. No one’s ever said, “I love getting spammed by this brand every time I open my browser,” or “I love waiting on hold for 30 minutes.” We’ve all had those disappointing experiences with businesses that have no visibility into their customers’ history or preferences. Ultimately, they fail to deliver on the simple conveniences customers have come to expect. Heyday has vowed to turn these mediocre customer experiences into distant memories.

As soon as Facebook Messenger opened up its API for developers in early 2016, our team was instantly compelled by this new medium and we saw tremendous potential to revolutionize the way businesses interact with their customers. Even Mark Zuckerberg reaffirmed his (and our) conviction that messaging is going to be the future of Facebook and social networking.

People increasingly prefer the privacy and convenience of chat over public newsfeeds. As a result, for the first time in the history of marketing and commerce, retailers now have a 1:1 bidirectional communication channel with customers. By opening up a dialogue and talking with customers instead of at them, brands can now foster deeper relationships built around personalization, conversations, and trust.

Being customer-focused used to be a noble mission statement, but now it’s just table stakes. Today, the world’s leading brands and web services are taking it to a whole new level: Customer focus has become customer obsession. By seamlessly integrating with leading e-commerce platforms like Shopify, Magento, and Salesforce along with CRM and internal data feeds, Heyday’s conversational platform helps brands enter a new age of AI assistance and personalized customer experiences.
Giving superpowers to sales and support teams 💪

We’ve remained in stealth mode for a long time, taking notes from first-generation chatbot companies, many of whom wanted to replace human customer service teams entirely. However, the lofty business goal of automating the entire customer journey just wasn’t aligned with their customers’ needs. The fact is, customers don’t care about AI; they care about great experiences and exceptional service. Period. So our vision was and continues to be to combine the best of both worlds: the efficiency and scalability of AI-powered automation and the human expertise of sales and support teams.

With Heyday, customer service teams can now leave the robot work to robots and focus on humanizing commerce, one meaningful conversation at a time.

Thank you for your support 🙏

Today is an extra special day not just for us but for our families, our friends, and our spouses. Since the beginning, their unwavering support has allowed us to put our energy and hearts into our vision. Without them, we wouldn’t have made it this far. We’d also like to thank our clients who believed in us and our team, especially in our early days. We are committed to continuing to earn your trust and helping you succeed in this new competitive landscape. Last but not least, we want to thank our fabulous team whose dedication to success is second to none. You’re the heart and soul of this company.

Today’s investment represents 2 million good reasons to believe in ourselves and our mission. In welcoming these strategic investors, we’ll be able to support and expand Heyday’s engineering, research and product teams, and to accelerate our global expansion in the United States and continental Europe.

Tonight, we’ll take a moment to celebrate how far we’ve come, but the celebrations will be short. As far as we’re concerned, it’s still Day 1 at Heyday and there’s plenty of work ahead. We can’t wait to hit the ground running and continue to elevate the standard of customer experience across the globe.
Our end goal: Deliver customer happiness, one conversation at a time.

Ted Liu

Ted Liu, M.Sc. (Mining, Queen's), MBA (Finance, Toronto), is the Editor of Private Capital Journal, CanadaMetals.ca, TechWire.ca, and the former Editor of Canadian Private Equity. Ted has been passionately tracking Canadian private capital industry since 1992, having most recently served as Research Director for The Canadian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (CVCA).

Ted is the architect of CVCA infobase, and is the architect of CPE Media's Financings.ca, Canada's most sophisticated and advanced all private capital and public market financing database.