True Ventures has invested US$ 3.25 million in Helpshift, which has just gone into private beta with its customer support solution for mobile apps.

Better Support for Mobile Apps

True Ventures is an early stage venture capital firm so it doesn’t get involved in these kinds of projects on a whim. It’s a good bet then that the product that Helpshift has developed is at the very least viable, if not a future “must have” product. That is not to say that it won’t be a leader, but it’s hard to know in the mobile app space.

Helpshift was founded last year by Abinash Tripathy and Baishampayan Ghose to develop what they see as a singularly under-served market, notably mobile customer support.

That is, customer support for mobile phone app users who are having trouble with an apps on their mobile phone. According to Helpshift, which provides its services as a SaaS solution, its software provides mobile-specific customer support that ultimately aims to improve the user experience.

This is a topic that Joshus Ellis spoke to in a recent CMSWire feature: Built-In Customer Support Turns Feedback into Conversations. If you look at any app on iTunes, Google Play, or other mobile app marketplace, you can often see tons of negative feedback. The problem is, that's as far as it often goes and the app developers have no real avenue to support those unhappy customers.

Helpshift's goal is to enable users to fix their problems before they get to the nasty comments phase. With this solution they can initiate bug-fixes or resolve problems right from their mobile phone. It nips problems in the bud, so to speak, by dealing with the problem when possible before they have to go customer support to have the problem fixed (if customer support even exists).

Helpshift’s SaaS Mobile App Support

Helpshift offers its solution via an SDK that lets you essentially embed its functionality inside an app, giving it the same user experience as the app. It is currently available for iOS and HTML5 with Android support expected any time now.

With it users can go through FAQs to see if they have a solution on hand, but instead of having to run through the entire range of questions, it has a search function which, the company says, actually works and lands users at appropriate content.

Helpshift customer support

If however, the problem can’t be sorted at that point in time, there is communication between the provider and the users using short messages that anyone who uses instant messaging would be familiar with.

Using this as well as device-specific problem solving, the app provider can send screenshots within the message suggesting ways to sort out the problems in real-time from Helpshift’s dashboard.

In a blog post on the True Venture website, Phil summed it up as:

The good news: whatever it is, there is likely “an app for that.”
The bad news: apps don’t always work the way they should, sometimes providing more headaches than help.

And that is the market that True Venture, along with Nexus Venture Partners, sees here.

Phil adds:

We love Helpshift not only because of its strong founding team, but also because we see a huge opportunity in the enterprise, infrastructure and SaaS spaces, and believe the trend of innovation in these areas is going to grow at an exponential pace.”

There is not a lot more to say at this point as Helpshift hasn’t clarified what it will do with the money, but it still hasn’t reached the market yet so it’s a safe bet that it will be used on moving progress there forward.