Instaply is a cloud-based, white label messaging platform that provides direct internal and external communication, via text/message, for businesses and their customers. The idea for Instaply started in 2012 and has been gaining significant traction since 2014. Instaply is headquartered in San Francisco, has an office in Barcelona, and just opened an office in Paris. We sat down with Fabien Degaugue, founder CEO of Instaply to learn more about the company.
Tell us about Instaply and your value proposition?
Instaply solves a very simple problem for customers trying to get in touch with a business. Today, the most common way for customers to get in touch with a small, brick and mortar business is to call them. Instaply’s messaging solution allows customers to message a business directly via text, Facebook Messenger, web widget and via app.
Messaging is people’s preferred mode of communication and we have categorically proven that this is the most efficient channel to drive sales, increase average basket size, improve customer satisfaction and lower costs. All relationships through Instaply are consistent and asynchronous. This channel reflects a fundamentally new way of handling customer relationships. In summary, Instaply helps build better customer relationships because it provides proximity and a more intimate relationship with real people.
With Instaply, one of our large, national bookstore retailers increased customer satisfaction from 6.5 to 7.4 (out of 10). For a DIY store chain, Instaply helped increase the average basket price from $47 to $52. For a real estate client we were able to lower the number of no-shows for appointments by 30%.
How exactly does Instaply work and what technology is powering the solution?
Instaply is like “whatsapp for business”. Instaply provides several different ways for customers to contact a business (text, Facebook Messenger, web widget and via app).
Our solution has an open API that lets you integrate any chat bots and artificial intelligence to improve the customer journeys, and it can hand-off to a real person when needed. In that case, when you come into a store, the sales representative knows who you are and can provide a very personalized service. For example, you may have chatted with them before about a specific item and requested that it be put aside for you.
Instaply is offered as a white label solution and integrated into a brand’s app. We are a very open platform and can work with bots that may already exist. Our business model is SaaS model; our customers pay per store/per month, or per user/per month.
Tell us more about your journey to opening the Paris office.
We have witnessed continuous growth in France for the past 3 years and it was time for us to open an office in Paris. We needed to have a local presence in order to be closer to our clients and develop a local network of partners.
Obviously as a French national I am happy to expand my business to France. But more seriously in the past 10 years I have seen such great progress for entrepreneurs in France. Fifteen years ago it was really hard to start a company, but since then there has been so much progress surrounding the startup ecosystem. The French Tech movement, financing opportunities through BPI France and all the support provided by groups like yours to successfully scale your business in France, is truly impressive.
I am glad to have the opportunity to take the best of both worlds, the US and France, to build the best company, globally. To be a truly global company you must take into account cultural differences and local specificities. I really believe this is one of Instaply’s strengths and allows us to best advise our clients and deliver the best solution possible.
We have already hired 3 people in France and have office space. PRIME and the Paris Region have been very helpful in providing qualified introductions and we look forward to spreading our wings in the Paris Region and beyond.