September 13, 2019
Agatha Predictions (Now Triage) Launch with Forethought Founder Deon Nicholas at TechCrunch
On September 6th, we launched Agatha Predictions (now Triage), our smart case routing for Customer Support.
Exactly one year ago today, on the TechCrunch Disrupt stage, I launched my company Forethought.
We were in Startup Battlefield, the same competition that launched Silicon Valley giants like Dropbox and Cloudflare.
Two days later…we won.
At Forethought, we use AI and natural language understanding to surface suggested answers to customer support agents.
We make their job easier, so agents can focus on delighting their customers.
So, what led us to that moment?
I’ve always been a “math” and “computers” guy. I’ve built products and infrastructure at companies like Facebook and Palantir, and published papers in “machine learning”.
In school, despite being pretty good at math and computers, I was really bad at subjects like History. So I did what any software person would do… I wrote software -- an AI -- that would read my notes and quiz me on the material. And that -- was where it all began for me. Since then, I’ve been obsessed with this idea that AI could help anyone become smarter at what they do.
Years later, as an engineer, whenever I was ramping up on a new project, I found that most of the information I needed was buried in data silos scattered across the enterprise.
Was there a way to be “smarter” at this? And I wasn’t alone. I talked to folks in IT, HR, Customer Support, everywhere. Regardless of the job, there was always an information problem.
Customer support agents, for example, had to look through thousands of past tickets or a variety of knowledge bases to get the information necessary to respond to tickets.
There had to be a better way. And so this kernel of an idea that I had back in school was now louder than ever: could we build something to help anyone be smarter and more efficient at what they do.
So I built Forethought. On a mission to make everyone a genius at their job, we’re building AI powered tools to embed the right information into an employee’s workflow, right when they need it, starting with customer support agents.
Exactly one year ago at TechCrunch Disrupt, we launched our first product, Agatha Assist. Using Natural Language Understanding or “NLU”, Agatha Answers helps support agents by giving them suggested answers and search capabilities.
Since Disrupt, it’s been a whirlwind. We’ve increased agent productivity by 20% and saved over 50,000 hours in customer wait times for our partners. We announced our $9M Series A led by NEA. We’ve grown from 5 full-time employees to 20.
And with the help of this amazing team, along with our advisors like Dr. Chris Manning, we’ve continued to build out our state-of-the-art NLU engine.
Beyond NLU, Forethought supports our partners the same way they support their customers. Over the past year, our partners were telling us that many of their agents spent a lot of time sorting, triaging, and routing tickets, instead of having the time to solve problems.
So, we listened.
Today, exactly 1 year later, we are proud to announce Agatha Predictions (Triage).
Predictions (Triage) closes the loop for support leaders who want their most important tickets answered first and fastest. It tags and routes support tickets, taking away the pain of manual triage, so agents can focus on solving problems and delighting customers.
Instead of using rigid, rule-based, “if-then” statements, Agatha Predictions (Triage) uses our core NLU engine to understand the semantics of the question being asked, and uses that route and triage.
One partner uses us to separate spam from sensitive issues such as privacy & safety. Another partner uses Predictions (Triage) to detect the root-cause of each case, surfacing potential gaps in product or documentation.
We’ve already gone head-to-head with some of the largest incumbent technologies and are one of the fastest deployments in the market. We have large enterprise partners, including MasterClass, the online education company, and PureStorage, the data solutions leader.
Today, Forethought is launching Agatha Predictions (Triage). If your support team answers 2000 or more tickets a week, and you want your agents to spend less time triaging, and more time with customers, sign up for a demo at forethought.ai/predictions or come find me and my team wearing this bright teal shirt at the Forethought booth!