Meet Our Newest Investments: Chargeflow, Parabola, PartsTech & Voiceflow
September 14, 2023
OpenView invests at the expansion stage – the challenging growth period between seed and series C – when the stakes are high and decisions need to be made quickly. At this crucial stage of growth, every decision has the potential to change a company’s trajectory:
- Who should you hire?
- When should you increase your pricing?
- What will it take to move up-market?
But any VC firm can write a check. Founders need someone in their corner to help them reach their fullest potential. Whether it’s running a pricing project, placing an executive hire, connecting a founder to a top-tier CMO, or accessing capital markets, OpenView removes hurdles to unlock growth and acts as a true partner to our portfolio founders.
For nearly two decades, we’ve had the honor of working alongside founders as they build a world that works better. I’m pleased to introduce our latest investments:
Chargeflow is a fully automated chargeback automation platform, designed to help eCommerce merchants.
Founders: Ariel Chen, Avia Chen
Year founded: 2020
Headquarters: Jerusalem, Israel
Investing Partner: Tom Holahan
Why we invested:
Ariel and Avia Chen, brothers and the founders of Chargeflow, experienced the pain their company aims to solve first hand – managing chargebacks at their direct-to-consumer cosmetics brand.
Chargebacks are a ubiquitous problem for all merchants, particularly those selling online. Chargeback disputes are common; in a recent 2022 survey, two-thirds of U.S. consumers reported filing credit card chargebacks in the past year.
The volume of chargebacks has been increasing with the rise and complexity of eCommerce. Over 250 million chargebacks are expected in 2023 (an increase of more than 50% from 2019), with the majority of chargeback volume being ‘friendly’ (i.e., non-criminal) fraud that Chargeflow focuses on. Managing chargebacks manually is a time-consuming problem plagued by low success rates (10 to 15% on average) in recovering disputed dollars.
That’s where Chargeflow comes in.
The platform provides merchants with a highly effective, user-friendly approach to chargeback dispute automation and recovery. A product-led growth (PLG) self-serve implementation allows merchants of all sizes to get up and running with a few simple API connections to their commerce and payments systems. Customers enjoy a light-touch user experience after implementing the solution, where disputes are automatically generated and processed on the merchant’s behalf. Chargeflow recovers income in the background on a success-fee basis with minimal engagement required from the merchant.
Chargeflow’s unique solution for chargeback management provides a ‘no brainer’ value prop to merchants of all sizes, including smaller merchants using off-the-shelf eCommerce and payments platforms like Shopify and Stripe for whom labor-intensive, services-driven approaches don’t work well.
While large retailers often utilize enterprise-grade fraud prevention and services-oriented solutions, and may even employ internal fraud prevention and chargeback management teams, SMBs have historically been underserved despite similar hurdles managing chargebacks (time loss, revenue leakage, regulatory penalty, etc.).
The proliferation of eCommerce, especially among smaller merchants, creates a need for an easy-to-implement solution like Chargeflow that can effectively automate chargeback disputes and increase recoveries. For these reasons and more we are incredibly excited to partner with Ariel, Avia and the entire Chargeflow team.
Parabola is transforming the way companies operate by empowering non-technical teams to automate complex data processes with ease.
Founder: Alex Yaseen
Year founded: 2017
Headquarters: San Francisco, CA
Investing Partner: Blake Bartlett
Why we invested:
As companies work to do more with less, automation is key. But there are still a large number of processes too bespoke for general automation software. Organizations historically solved this with additional headcount and manual spreadsheet work, but those remedies don’t scale as volume and complexity grows.
At the same time, accelerating advancements in AI such as LLMs have increased the breadth of workflows that can be automated, creating a gap in how organizations want to operate and how they’re currently set up to do so.
Parabola enables non-technical users to automate and manage these bespoke and complex operational data processes in a no-code platform that’s tailored to any customer’s exact workflows, resulting in hard dollar cost savings, 3X average efficiency gains, and increased visibility and accuracy of operations. And these benefits only compound as teams scale and businesses grow.
This strong value proposition and compelling “why now” gives Parabola a unique opportunity to serve as the AI-powered orchestration platform for all operational data processes – a multi-billion dollar market that will only grow as more industries look to digitize previously manual processes.
We’re thrilled to work with Alex and team, who are aiming to empower operators, a historically underserved, yet critical function of any business.
PartsTech is a next-generation ordering platform designed to help professional technicians save time and reduce the hassle associated with wholesale automotive parts procurement.
Founders: Greg Kirber, Erik St. Pierre
Year founded: 2013
Headquarters: Cambridge, MA
Investing Partner: Tim Keebler
Why we invested:
The do-it-for-me aftermarket auto parts market represents $76B of annual spend, but today, only 15% of the market transacts digitally – a figure that is expected to grow at a 7.2% CAGR over five years and shift increasingly to marketplaces.
PartsTech marries exceptional leadership with an exceptional value proposition and highly-efficient distribution engine. By partnering with shop management systems (“SMS”) they provide a flywheel between repair shops, SMSs, and distributors to accelerate and generate best-in-class unit economics with network effects that take hold in the two-sided marketplace.
PartsTech offers customers time savings of up to 650 hours a year per auto shop, a savings of $13,000 in labor costs, and revenue generation by giving customers the ability to flip auto bays faster at no cost.
We are thrilled to partner with Greg, Erik and the entire PartsTech team.
Voiceflow empowers conversational AI teams to design, prototype and build conversational assistants together, faster, and at scale.
Founders: Braden Ream, Tyler Han, Andrewe Lawrence, Michael Hood
Year founded: 2019
Headquarters: Toronto, CA
Investing Partner: Blake Bartlett
As innovation in LLMs continues to accelerate, so too does business demand for production-deployed conversational AI bots. What’s more, adoption of automation has spread across conversational channels including web chat, SMS / messaging, connected IOT devices, and more. All this increases the complexity of building, testing, and managing systems that have historically been addressed either manually without dedicated tooling or via channel-specific applications. This creates a unique and compelling opportunity for a platform like Voiceflow.
Voiceflow’s purpose-built tool for designing, prototyping, and testing conversational assistants streamlines both the development as well as the design-to-developer process, an increasingly complex and necessary, yet unaddressed, workflow. This results in material time savings for developers, faster time to market due to iteration velocity, and enhanced revenue generation from better customer experience, consistent messaging, and deeper context across channels.
Voiceflow leverages design and prototyping as a wedge into the holistic conversational AI workflow, enabling it to eventually become the end-to-end platform for building and launching conversational assistants – a multi-billion dollar market that’s growing quickly as more companies adopt AI.
We’re delighted to work with Braden, Tyler, Andrewe, Michael and the entire Voiceflow team as they work towards their vision of enabling any individual or team to collaboratively build AI agents.
OpenView is thrilled to expand our family of portfolio companies and partner with some of the world’s leading entrepreneurs as they build a world that works better.
This blog post includes mention of current OpenView portfolio companies. For additional information including a full list of portfolio companies, please visit our website.