Why We Invested in Luminai: Customer Support Workflow Automation

When you reach out to customer support, how quickly do you expect them to get back to you? If you’re like the majority of consumers today, you likely answered with “instantly.”

That sky-high expectation means that customer support teams are slammed with hundreds, if not thousands, of urgent support tickets per day. To make matters worse, support teams are operating on an ever-growing set of disparate tools. They’re inefficiently jumping from one tool to the next in order to report a software bug, cancel a subscription, or submit product feedback. In turn, it should come as no surprise that 74% of support agents are at risk of burnout. Even worse, it’s well documented that multitasking lowers productivity, decreases task quality, and creates stress which can lead to burnout.

To put it simply – scaling effective customer support is a painful problem for businesses, employees, and customers alike.

Enter Luminai, formerly Digital Brain, the startup helping companies save time by turning repetitive processes into automated workflows. These time savings translate to scalable and effective customer support processes, and ultimately a better customer experience.

Underscore is excited to have invested in Luminai’s $16M Series A alongside General Catalyst, following our original investment in their 2020 Seed round alongside Moxxie Ventures, Caffeinated Capital, Unshackled Ventures, Shrug Capital, and Weekend Fund.

As a testament to the pervasive nature of this problem, Luminai also attracted angel investments from Arash Ferdowsi, founder of Dropbox, Ryan Peterson, CEO of Flexport, Mathilde Collin, CEO of Front, Eric Glyman, CEO of Ramp, Alex Bouaziz, CEO of Deel, Shishir Mehrotra, CEO of Coda (an Underscore portfolio company), Nicolas Dessaigne, former CEO of Algolia, Sarah Nahm, former CEO of Lever, and more.

Streamlining Rote Processes From Minutes to Seconds in the $10B Support Software Market

Luminai empowers knowledge workers to focus on the most valuable and rewarding aspects of their jobs. By connecting SaaS applications through Robotic Process Automation (RPA), Lumanai streamlines multi-click processes and serves as an operating system that prevents teams from needing to jump between a dozen applications to execute a single action.

To date, the company has helped its customers reduce average handle time by 16%, decrease customer service agent onboarding time by 60% and save over 25 hours a month per agent. These results are increasingly relevant at a time when every company is critically evaluating the effectiveness and productivity of their existing team in addition to reducing the ramp time of key recent hires.

The market potential for Luminai is enormous. There are 6.6 million support agents in Europe and the United States alone, and we see the potential for Luminai to become the operating system of choice for these agents in a $10B+ and growing support software market.

While Luminai is initially focusing on the customer support segment, in time, the company has the opportunity to span every knowledge worker and become an operating system on top of disparate SaaS tools. We see this larger vision as an opportunity to reinvent the $24B+ RPA and business process automation market.

At Underscore, we’re big believers in the power, potential, and market opportunity for Robotic Process Automation (RPA), but most RPA solutions are developer-focused, expensive, slow to implement, and deployed by technical professionals who don’t directly see the benefit. Luminai is simple enough to be deployed by any people manager, a key differentiator in the RPA market.

Beyond an incredible product and massive market, we’re continually blown away by the Luminai founders, Kesava Kirupa Dinakaran and Dmitry Dolgopolov. Since we originally met in August 2020, the team has executed at a breakneck pace, recruited an incredible team, and signed on an impressive initial set of customers, including Carta, Oura, Rho, Whatnot, Italic, and many more.

Two Founders with Grit and Maniacal Focus

We were struck by the exceptional backgrounds of Kesava and Dmitry. Kesava is a two-time Rubik’s cube world record holder and the youngest person to cycle across the Silk Road. Dmitry is a talented hacker and game developer who can fluently speak over 5 languages. Beyond these talents, what really solidified our interest was the team’s endless hustle and determination. Kesava and Dmitry immigrated to the United States to pursue their passion for technology and initially made ends meet by entering and winning hackathons.

The team’s story has been well documented, but the short of it is this:

The pair became fast friends at a hackathon in 2019. Months later they moved into a San Francisco community house with a handful of other founders. After observing the challenges of scaling customer support from their housemates, and then confirming that pain point with over 75 heads of customer support, Kesava and Dmitry knew they had to tackle this problem.

At Underscore we talk a lot about “Founder Market Fit” – the unique qualifications a founding team has to tackle the problem they’re seeking to solve – and Kesava and Dmitry have it. The two are maniacally focused on efficiency, skilled in designing great user interfaces, and talented across RPA and natural language processing (NLP), all incredibly important skill sets for building this business.

Since Luminai completed its initial product development and customer discovery phase last year, they’ve scaled the business quickly with significant commercial interest and several key hires. Great teams build great companies and we’re thrilled to have introduced Lumanai to Lauren Taylor, a long-time Underscore Core Community Member, who joined the team as VP of Operations in early 2022.

What’s Next For Lumanai?

The Series A funding will be used to build world-class go-to-market, engineering, and product teams to capitalize on the momentum the team has already built and reinvent the $24 billion RPA market. To explore the growing list of open roles at Lumanai, visit their careers page.