iSchool startup Qazzow receives seed investment from W Fund
Qazzow, a recent spin out from the University of Washington's Information School, announced that it has secured $500,000 in seed investment from the W Fund, an early stage venture fund focused on leveraging Washington's research strength to launch new businesses.
Qazzow has created a breakthrough software-as-a-service that significantly improves the consumer experience with websites and web applications. The company is currently piloting with a number of online businesses and is already helping companies like Ben Bridge Jeweler, PetHub, Yapta, and PlayOn.tv increase online sales. The Qazzow service enables businesses to easily capture and answer website visitor questions whether accessed by desktop or mobile platforms. The W Fund investment will allow Qazzow to complete development of and fully launch the service.
"This is an important milestone for the Qazzow team and we are excited to put these funds to work to bring the Qazzow solution to even more customers," said Jake Wobbrock, co-founder and CEO of Qazzow. "The W Fund is a great partner for us and their experience working with research-driven, early stage companies is hugely valuable."
"Qazzow had our attention from our first meeting with its experienced founders—a research team out of the UW Information School who are recognized leaders in an important field," said Linden Rhoads, General Manager of the W Fund. "The W Fund appreciates this software spin out's focused and validated opportunity to sell into a large, established market, is impressed with the compelling solution Qazzow has developed, and is confident in Qazzow's proven team.
According to research by Genesys, U.S. businesses lose $83 billion in sales each year because consumers can't get the answers they need to questions or problems that arise while shopping or using consumer services. Qazzow's patent-pending, disruptive Q&A technology addresses this need by offering fast, concise answers at the point of customer action on any device. Qazzow offers a superior consumer experience that reduces abandonment rates and helps online businesses to:
- Drive increased revenue for e-commerce sites by increasing user engagement, easing frustration, and enabling clear cross-sell opportunities;
- Reduce customer support costs by answering customers' questions at the time and place they have them, deflecting costly escalations to phone, live chat, or email support;
- Gain valuable insights through powerful analytics that help companies better understand customer behaviors and improve the online customer experience.
These tangible benefits are easy for companies to realize, requiring only a single line of code to be added to web pages. The answers provided by the Qazzow solution are not hard-coded into each page—the answers are dynamically retrieved based on Qazzow's awareness of the specific item or part of the page the customer is having trouble with.
"We've been very impressed with the impact Qazzow has had on converting prospects to customers on our website and in giving us new insights on what our visitors are thinking as they shop," said Marc Bridge, vice president of marketing at Ben Bridge Jeweler.
Qazzow was started by Wobbrock and co-founders Andy Ko and Parmit Chilana. All three co-founders are award-winning researchers in the field of human-computer interaction, which blends computer science, design, and human factors.
Qazzow is revolutionizing the online experience of websites and web applications. The company's innovative "answer layer" offers fast, concise answers at the point of customer action, driving increased sales, reducing support costs, and yielding valuable insights to inform site improvements. Qazzow is headquartered in Seattle, Washington. More information can be found at qazzow.com.
About the W Fund
The W Fund is an early-stage venture fund that aims to invest approximately $20 million over the next four years in promising start-ups spinning out of the University of Washington and other research institutions across the state. The Fund demonstrates the commitment of the region's business leaders and investment community to leverage Washington's research strength to drive the state's innovation economy by spurring the creation of jobs and tax revenue, and attracting investment capital into Washington. More information is available at thewfund.com.
The W Fund, LP