Montreal chatbot startup Heyday grabs $6.5 million

Montreal’s Heyday.AI is raising $6.5 million ($5.1 million USD) in funding led by Innovobot and Desjardins Capital, per Techcrunch.

CMO Etienne Merineau said the money will help Heyday focus on the US market. Meanwhile, CEO Steve Desjarlais said the startup wants to allow retailers to support more automation and more personalization in their online customer interactions.

Chatbot technology is undoubtedly here to stay, but it doesn’t always provide the greatest experience for customers needing specific answers for specific questions. Chatbots are not humans and we can’t expect them to be. Still, it’s fair to assume the technology will only become smarter and more effective in its ability to converse at a more human level.

Heyday seems to be one of the companies trying to address this. In fact, the company’s motto is trying to help retailers “humanize ecommerce through conversational AI” as an all-in-one unified customer messaging platform.

Heyday counts well-known international brands as clients

Designed in Montreal, the startup’s technology has been trained to deal with thousands of different retail-specific scenarios, in both English and Quebec French. The solution offers over 60 conversational features to help teams increase sales and customer service. It was designed as bilingual and counts international companies as clientele, like David’s Tea, Simons, Lacoste, Danon, Decathlon, Bestseller and more.

Whether someone sends a business a message through Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Google’s Business Messages or via email, Heyday brings all that communication together in one dashboard. It’s AI then determines whether it’s a customer service or sales-related interaction, and it automates basic responses when possible, noted Techcrunch.

The chatbots can provide order updates and recommend products (integrating with Salesforce, Shopify, Magento, Lightspeed and PrestaShop). It can then assign the conversation to a human team member.

“Retailers who believe that [the changes brought about by] COVID-19 are temporary are in the wrong mindset,” Merineau told Techcrunch. “The new mantra of future-forward brands is ‘adapt or die.’ … Brands obviously want to delvier great service, but they care about the bottom line. We help them kill two birds with one stone.”

And things are going well: Heyday says it has doubled recurring revenue over the past two quarters.

The current cost of Heyday’s technology runs at $499 for enterprise systems and $49 per month for Shopify merchants.

The company previously raised $2 million in funding.

In July of 2020, amid the hectic days of the Covid situation, Heyday released a self-serve version of its product to all Shopify merchants, “giving the Fortune 500,000 access to AI and automation typically reserved for the Fortune 500.”

Heyday isn’t the only notable chatbot innovation coming out of Montreal. Back in 2019, Zendesk acquired the Montreal-made Smooch AI, then built by Montrealer Mike Gozzo and team.

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