The efficacy of online shopping has largely been proven; however, complete acceptance has been hindered by the lack of customer support on most e-commerce sites. PeopleSupport.com of Los Angeles has developed a program to remedy that situation and gained $6 million in venture capital support to further develop its service.
Idealab Capital Partners led the round that closed the weekend of July 4. The firm was joined in the placement by Eagle New Media Investments and several institutional and individual investors that had participated in PeopleSupport.com’s $1.5 million angel financing earlier this year, said President Lance Rosenzweig.
Largely, PeopleSupport.com’s customers are “dotcom” companies that operate in specific markets including financial services, e-retailers, travel, entertainment and computer hardware and software services. The company offers customers a suite of customer support services including live text chat, personalized e-mail reply, interactive self-help. Customers can obtain these services through outsourcing, in-sourcing or co-sourcing. Rosenzweig said regardless of the manner of delivery, PeopleSupport.com provides customer support services around the clock.
However, Rosenzweig said the company prefers that customers not hide the PeopleSupport service behind their own brand. Rather than that, PeopleSupport places a button on each customer site that informs consumers they are using Peoplesupport.com services.
“In most cases [consumers] know they are talking to PeopleSupport.com,” Rosenzweig said. “We want e-commerce sites to want to offer PeopleSupport, rather than hiding us.”
Operations and sales and marketing will reap the benefits of the financing. In operations, Rosenzwieg said the company intends to add technology and human resources to assist in the customer expansion effort. The sales and marketing expenditures will be focused on attracting new business-to-business customers and increased branding efforts.
The capital infusion should cover PeopleSupport.com’s operations through the upcoming Christmas season. Rosenzweig said the company would likely raise additional funds in the first quarter of 2000.
Following the transaction William Quigley, a principal at Idealab Capital Partners, and Michael Song, assistant treasurer at Eagle New Media, joined the PeopleSupport.com board of directors.