Founded by high profile entrepreneur and customer experience futurist, Dr Catriona Wallace, Flamingo is a startup that launched just over eight months ago in Australia. The startup is a cloud based software program that allows big businesses to treat their customers like individuals. To break that down into simpler terms – what Flamingo provides for businesses is a digital hub, which it calls a ‘co-creation lab’ that allows customers and employees of the businesscan co-create the experience that the customer wants. This is all done within the parameters of what the business is able to deliver to its clients.
Having just closed a AUD$2.11 million funding round from a number of angel investors, Dr Wallace is preparing to expand Flamingo’s reach, launching the startup into the United States market early next year. This will then be followed by a proposed Series A funding round opening to US investors around June 2015.
Flamingo in it’s first 8 months of business has clocked up a number of significant wins and has been able to create some great case studies from its early adopters. NAB, Prime Financial, Quay Credit Union and Imalia Insurance Brokers are just a few of the large companies that have come on board and are using the product to retain customers, gather real-time insights and test innovations.
Already Wallace and her team are in discussions with some key potential clients for the US release. “We are in advanced discussions with five US-based corporates in the insurance, health insurance, banking and arts sectors. All five businesses are looking for technology to help them have more meaningful conversations with their customers and to be able to personalise experiences for individuals. This capability is provided through Flamingo’s product suite called CustomerCreate” she said.
In addition to onboarding these early US customers, Flamingo has also appointed San Francisco based, Andy Dale as its new Chief Technology Officer (CTO). Dale was CTO at Respect Network before joining the Flamingo team. “Having Andy as our US-based CTO is an awesome achievement for Flamingo. Andy is a highly respected technologist and he understands the Flamingo vision to develop a shared-value creation model for business based on empowering both customers and businesses to co-create experiences” said Wallace.
Flamingo is actually one of the first significant VRM (Vendor Relationship Management) platforms, globally. VRM which interfaces with an organisation’s CRM platform, provides tools for customers to manage their vendors. It is a space that is in my opinion severely under-serviced. The future of customer service in the digital economy will rely heavily on not just having a good internal CRM system, but a meaningful way to keep customers engaged and buying from you.
In the Insurance and Banking industries customer churn is estimated to be a $3 billion problem. That as Wallace has said in the past, is the issue she is trying to fix.