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Small and medium-sized consumer businesses waste a lot of time dealing with constant requests for pricing and other similar questions. Iranthi Gomes and Jarkko Oksanen faced these issues firsthand when they were building their Melbourne-based coffee catering business - Wheelys Melbourne. Using the lessons learned, Gomes and Oksanen created a data-driven platform, Serviceform. Serviceform provides small businesses with an automated way to customize their customers' experiences using chat bots and online forms. Initially, the duo bootstrapped to create a prototype that could support a range of businesses in the service industry. Serviceform's long-term goal is to create a solution that changes how small businesses communicate with their customers.
The two co-founders established Serviceform in Finland, in 2017. The company has created several templates aimed at several service-focused businesses such as law firms, real-estate companies, catering companies, flower shops etc. The main highlight of Serviceform is automatic quote generation, which allows customers to receive a quote from the business without showing pricing publicly. In this way, the businesses remain competitive while saving efforts for unnecessary emails and phone calls. Serviceform has grown to a scalable platform offering custom quotes, scheduling, and payment processing services.
The startup got its first few customers in early 2018, and is now used by service businesses in the UK, the US and Australia. It is available in four different languages, to cater to localized needs. The SaaS-based Serviceform suite offers features such as appointment reminders, automated scheduling, calendar sync, client database, group scheduling, mobile access, multi-Location, online booking, online payments, and recurring appointments. Offering a free trial version, the pricing starts at USD 99.00 per month.
In an interview with Good News Finland, co-founder Iranthi Gomes said, “Every business has their own way of selling to their customers. With Serviceform you can build your own exact booking solution, the way you like it. We really wanted something that would reply to the customer in minutes instead of hours.”
Serviceform can be integrated with CMS and web publishing platforms including Drupal, Squarespace, Shopify, Unbounce, Weebly, Instapage, WordPress, Joomla, PrestaShop and LightCMS. It can also be embedded into Facebook for taking social media bookings. Serviceform offers a drag & drop form builder without any need for HTML editing or development knowledge. The payment handling and credit card processing is done through integration with Stripe. It also includes its own analytics tools for reviewing statistics for identifying key trends for raising lead conversion rates. Serviceform claims to increase website conversion by 300%. Some of the key customers of Servicenow include Maaco, NdimensionZ, Kiuas, and Enlyft Digital Solutions.
In November 2018, the start-up raised pre-seed investment of USD 350,000 from a range of Finnish investors, including Gorilla Capital, Business Finland and four angel investors with SaaS and marketing backgrounds. Its angel investors include Matias Mäenpää (Leap Oy), Anssi Kiviranta (Leap Oy), Mikko Nurminen and Antti Ala-Ilkka. All these angel investors have also joined Serviceform's advisory board. Serviceform will use the funding to build a totally scalable version of the product for targeting global markets. Earlier in December 2017, Serviceform had raised EUR 80,000 from Finnish funding agency Tekes.
The key competitors for Serviceform include US-based Eventbrite, a ticketing and event technology platform that helps businesses organize and sell tickets for events. Eventbrite reported revenues of USD 201 million in FY 2017. Another US-based company Tix is a cloud-based ticketing system featuring integrated access controls, event management controls, and multi-channel distribution capabilities. Israel-based vCita is an online CRM software to manage client communications as well as online scheduling, payments, email & SMS campaigns, and lead generating website widgets targeted at small businesses. Another startup SetMore, helps businesses manage appointments, schedules and customers through a web application.