Deal: Coinbase Buys A Customer Support Startup

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Crypto exchange Coinbase (NASDAQ: COIN) has ventured into India for its latest acquisition. It’s acquired Agara, a customer support platform powered by artificial intelligence. Coinbase has caught a lot of flak for inadequate customer support, so it makes sense the company is upping its focus on the area with an acquisition. 

  • Agara offers an AI-powered customer support platform that online retailers pay to use. While there’s no straightforward synergy between it and crypto exchange, it seems like a strategic acquisition to build up Coinbase’s customer support operations, especially as the company has sought to build an engineering hub in India.
  • The amount Coinbase paid for Agara wasn’t formally disclosed, but a TechCrunch report says it’s between $40mn and $50mn. Agara raised a total of $7mn from VCs, so selling for $40mn-$50mn seems like a very good exit. Agara’s investors include RTP Global, Blume Ventures, and Kleiner Perkins.
Customer support is an area Coinbase is lacking. For a long time, it’s been the main source of customer complaints, and it makes sense that Coinbase wants to improve there even when it means spending significant bucks on a strategic acquisition. However, Coinbase posted $1.6bn in pure profit in Q2 this year, and $40mn-$50mn seems minute in the grand scheme of things.
  • Agara employs 40 people that’ll join Coinbase’s customer support efforts, a significant addition.
  • “We plan to leverage Agara’s powerful technology to automate and enhance our customer experience (CX) tools…Through this acquisition, we’ll be able to provide our customers with new personalized, intelligent and real-time support options,” said Manish Gupta, EVP of Engineering at Coinbase, in a statement.

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