Ex-Amazon engineers raise $2.4M for AI startup that scans customer feedback

Spiral co-founders Elena Zhizhimontova and Andrew DiLosa. (Spiral Photo)

Seattle startup Spiral just raised $2.4 million to make sure companies can take advantage of the constant stream of customer feedback they receive.

The startup, a recent participant in Amazon’s Alexa Accelerator program under its prior name Togethar, makes artificial intelligence software that can rapidly scan multiple channels of customer feedback. Spiral aims to help companies spot issues raised by customers and quickly rectify them.

Spiral was founded by a pair of ex-Amazon engineers, and they were influenced by the tech giant’s customer-centric mission. Often companies struggle to learn from massive amounts of customer feedback, or ignore it altogether, the company said. Spiral’s artificial intelligence software scans thousands of communications in minutes and spits out insights through a customer dashboard.

“We think of feedback as this treasure trove which each company has, but they never look into,” Spiral CEO Elena Zhizhimontova said during an Alexa Accelerator Demo Day in October. “We open up your chest, take a look at your feedback, and we discover major customer pain points they experience with your product.”

Sprial CEO Elena Zhizhimontova at an Alexa Accelerator Demo Day. (GeekWire Photo / Taylor Soper)

Leading the round is Bellevue, Wash. early-stage venture firm Trilogy Equity Partners. Other investors include Jeff Bezos’ Bezos Expeditions, Techstars, Triphammer Ventures, Lookout co-founder Kevin Mahaffey, Kirby Winfield’s Ascend.vc and Sean Sternbach, an Amazon product manager who co-founded a Seattle-based program for aspiring entrepreneurs called Venture Out.

Spiral plans to use the funds to train its software to analyze other forms of customer feedback, including voice calls. The startup also wants to integrate the technology with popular CRM platforms.

The three-person company plans to hire several full-stack software engineers and data scientists. Co-founders Zhizhimontova and Andrew DiLosa both spent four years at Amazon as software engineers on the Fire TV team. Ksenia Zhizhimontova, the company’s UI/UX designer, is also a computer science student at Cornell University.

The company’s initial set of customers include Remitly, Stella Connect, and Dolly. Spiral says it has a “waitlist” of potential customers, and it will soon begin onboarding some of them.