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Komiko CEO Hal Howard.
Komiko CEO Hal Howard. Photo via Komiko.

Hal Howard, Ami Heitner, and Srikanth Avadhanam spent years and years at companies like Microsoft and SAP, learning how and why customer relationship management (CRM) systems were so valuable to companies of all sizes.

But their experience also helped them see inefficiencies with the technology — and now the trio has come up with a solution in the form of a new startup.

Komiko just reeled in a $1.5 million seed round led by Founders Co-op, with participation from existing angel investors.

Screenshot via Komiko.
Screenshot via Komiko.

The Redmond, Wash.-based startup will use the fresh funds to grow its platform that uses data mining and machine learning technology to draw information and data from communication services — email, calendar, chat, etc. — together with CRM systems like Salesforce.

komiko11The idea is to give companies a better idea of what’s happening with their customers and why, using data across all parts of an organization, all within their existing CRM.

“Komiko captures our customer’s customer-facing activities directly from email and calendar data and applies a series of natural language processing, data science, and machine learning techniques to analyze and characterize the level of engagement with leads, accounts, and opportunities in CRM,” Howard told GeekWire. “Komiko provides insight into the true nature of your customer relationships.”

The leadership team has a wealth of experience working with Microsoft’s CRM platform, Dynamics. Howard joined Microsoft in 1994, eventually heading up the company’s Dynamics ERP business from 2009 to 2014. Heitner was a general manager on the Dynamics team from 2011 to 2014, and spent more than a decade at SAP before that. Avadhanam is a 20-year Microsoft veteran, working as a developer and engineering manager for Dynamics-related products and more.

Komiko has 40 customers than range from small accounts with five users to larger ones with 1,500 users. The company employs seven people and plans to grow to 12 in the coming months.

This is another investment from Seattle-based Founders Co-op in the “enterprise process automation” area; other investments include Outreach, Simply Measured, Tune, Apptentive, and Bluecore.

“As a fund we continue to see huge opportunities at the intersection of enterprise process automation and large-scale data analysis using emerging machine learning  and AI techniques,” Founders Co-op General Partner Chris Devore wrote in a blog post.

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