The public launch in October of customer support firm DevRev’s DevCRM platform offers a new approach to managing software as a service (SaaS) customer management. It cuts down on the need for large support teams by automating the update process on a rolling, consistent, as-needed basis.
DevRev is an API-driven, developer-first CRM platform for product-led SaaS companies that merges customer support conversations and tickets with developer issues and product enhancements.
The result eliminates the need for companies to stitch together multiple tools, saving money in the process. It also reduces subscription churn by increasing customer satisfaction, according to DevRev.
The company’s DevCRM solution features an in-app widget, APIs, and webhooks. Its platform syncs GitHub, Jira, legacy CRMs, and Slack events in real time with its modern issues, tickets, and conversations. This convergence elevates technical account, project, product, and customer success managers to drive user adoption and retention.
“We are inspired by customers already using DevRev to move from traditional support to product-led support, thus elevating their support agents to become customer engineers with the use of APIs and smart automation,” said Dheeraj Pandey, CEO and co-founder of DevRev.
Manoj Agarwal, president and co-founder of DevRev, added, “The DevRev platform brings customers closer to product managers and engineers, so that product work prioritization happens in a more customer-centric fashion.”
DevRev launched an open beta in April 2022. Since then, the company has worked with multiple support teams across nearly 400 companies. One signed on for the potential efficiency improvements the new approach presents.
“As a deep tech and product-led company, our biggest differentiator is customer support. With DevRev, we can scale customer support while also gaining valuable product insights to make improvements that our customers need,” said Kshitij Gupta, CEO and co-founder of live video infrastructure developer 100ms.
Agarwal, who was senior vice president of engineering at Nutanix, partnered with Pandey, a former executive of enterprise cloud platform Nutanix, to found the new company. The two first met in school, and the rest, as they say, is history. Pandey led Nutanix to garner one of the biggest technology IPOs in 2016. Pandey’s penchant for controlling finances and expanding the workforce was a winning quality in growing DevRev.
Finances Weighed Heavily on Growth
Pandey was Nutanix’s only CEO as a publicly listed company generating close to US$1.8 billion in revenue. Employees grew from zero to 7,000 people over the course of 10 years.
Much of what they discovered about customer support from the spiraling success at Nutanix became their incentive to reinvent the technology driving customer relationship management software, noted Agarwal.
“Given the current macroeconomic environment, we are very cognizant of stretching every dollar while balancing our growth for the next few years,” said Pandey.
What the two came to realize from the interactions with their Nutanix customers is how direct access and constant communication among the software makers and the product users contributed profoundly to the customer base, Agarwal told CRM Buyer.
Whether it was through the Slack channel or lots of industry events, our customers really appreciated not going through three hoops and always getting the correct answer, he explained.
“That was the initial impetus of thinking about starting the derivative company.”
A second influence to branch out with DevRev was the growing surge of SaaS platforms as the workforce abruptly moved from on-site to at-home workers. A third trend in making the timing to launch the new company was the shift in corporate thinking from sales-led growth to product-led growth, noted Agarwal.
Instant Delivery Complicated Things
Those combined circumstances posed new questions. For instance, if the software or the features are getting delivered instantly to all customers worldwide on such a regular basis, how does that impact user training?
That involved a significant change in approach for the people writing the code and the people talking to the customers. How do we handle the layers that exist inside the organization?
Those are factors the new company’s leadership saw changing dramatically. Users would need almost instant support and real-time visibility about the status of feature requests.
“So this phenomenon comes down to the traditional way of working was probably not going to cut it in this new decade,” offered Agarwal.
The guiding principle for DevRev’s mission was to tackle the inherent problems that were part of the changing workplace for software developers. According to Agarwal, the challenge was to take this matter in hand and build a company to address a multi-decade kind of problem.
That was the industry DevRev execs faced starting up in October of 2020. However, since then, the founders have raised more than $70 million in seed money.
“This has been continuous funding for us, not just one big round that we did. We also launched a few months ago tokenized offering available from our website,” Agarwal said.
In a world reshaping around open-source technology, the DevCRM platform is not, he noted.
“What we have created through the use of API SDK and giving the power through the marketplace that we have built on top of that variant will allow industry partners to come and build applications on top of this,” he clarified.
“We will continue evaluating mature technologies that make sense for us to do as open source, and that will be useful.”