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qazzowQazzow, a spin out of the University of Washington founded by UW professors Andy Ko and Jake Wobbrock as well as University of Waterloo professor Dr. Parmit Chilana, has raised a $500,000 seed investment from the W Fund. It marks the first financed startup to emerge from the UW’s Information School.

“We are bringing to market a Q&A SaaS offering that increases sales conversions, lowers support costs, and provides Voice-of-the-Customer insights for e-commerce businesses and web applications,” says Wobbrock, who received a Ph.D. from the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University.


The Qazzow system is being tested by Ben Bridge Jeweler, Game House, Big Fish Games, PetHub, Yapta, and PlayOn, with Wobbrock saying that they’ve been able to show how “instant answers provided in-context to e-shoppers can increase sales conversion by double digit rates.”

“With the explosion of mobile shopping, the need for e-shoppers to get their questions answered easily without a lot of cumbersome typing is paramount,” he said. “Qazzow is the first company to offer a contextual Q&A service that requires no typing for mobile websites. Instead, users just tap on the thing on the screen causing their question or confusion, and instantly, relevant Q&A appear.”

Qazzow says that customers are 12 times more likely to make a purchase if Q&A services are deployed, and visitors stay on the Web site three times as long. Meanwhile, the company says that its software can reduce customer support costs by as much as 50 percent.

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