Hong Kong – Local-based omni-channel chat commerce solution provider Omnichat has raised US$1.8m in its pre-A round funding, which will be used to expand its business to Southeast Asia.

The funding will finance Omnichat to further expand the business to SEA markets. The first stop will be Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand. The company will scale its partnership network through collaborating with more SEA smart commerce platforms on solutions integration.

Alan Chan, founder and CEO at Omnichat, said, “We will also invest more capital to bolster technology and product development on our all-in-one messaging platform, especially the remarketing and ‘chat and buy’ features, realising our mission of converting visitors to customers through chat.”

Omnichat facilitates companies to centralise customers’ chats from different instant messaging channels including WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Instagram, WeChat, LINE and website live chat, etc. into a single platform for efficiency enhancement. It also comprises an OMO (online-merge-offline) sales sector which pairs with revenue tracking across online and offline channels, contributing the revenue recognition and multi-shop management of brands.

Chan added, “Marketing automation through chatbots and integration of different touchpoints are becoming increasingly important to deliver a seamless shopping experience to consumers.”

Mumbai, India – As more and more brands look for more ways to engage with their customer base online, creating surveys poses to be a simple yet effective way to gather information from consumers, from collecting consumer opinion for market research to real-time feedback. To make it easier, new platform player Merren offers brands a way to easily access their customers through chat-integrated automated surveys.

Merren is a global end-to-end platform for messaging-app based surveys that allows one to build fully-automated surveys for messaging apps like Whatsapp. Being a holistic messenger-based research platform, Merren enables firms to create, distribute and analyze surveys on a single platform.

Through the platform, users can create accessible surveys, deploy them through a simple shareable link, collect and store validated data online and automate analysis in five easy steps. The platform also offers clients to distribute the survey for them, as it is backed up by a global panel of 35 million potential responses, around 2.5 million of which are from India.

Sumit Saxena, co-founder at Merren notes that one of the prime reasons why they launched the platform was to serve customers who want to be heard but are reluctant to answer long surveys. He added that this results in a low response rate and no real actionable research insights. 

“This enables brands to leverage the in-built features of these apps, leading to refined and nimbler access to data. Audio questions also help overcome comprehension issues, one of the limitations of self-administered, text-heavy questionnaires,” Saxena said.

The platform also offers users a localized, multi-language solution to brands and B2B clients. Through use of apps like WhatsApp that have a vast outreach in India across socio-economic groups, gender, age groups, states, towns, and villages, Merren facilitates a better connection with the target customer. With technology paving the way for conversation, the platform sits right at the heart of humanizing the survey experience for all its stakeholders. 

For Monalisa Saxena, co-founder at Merren, consumers today would rather participate in a conversation than a survey. She added that for market research to be successful, companies need to reach the customers where they are, through a medium they are comfortable with, in a language they understand.

“Browser-based surveys run into the limitations posed by the reach and unfamiliarity of the user interface. On the other hand, frequency of usage and ease of accessibility of messenger-based apps makes surveys accessible to users across the world,” she stated.

The app was developed by boutique market research company and consulting firm Inxise Datalabs based in Mumbai, India.