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SaaS entrepreneur Raisinghani’s new AI venture raises $5.5M to improve sales efficiency

SiftHub, an AI startup founded by former LogiNext CTO and co-founder Manisha Raisinghani, has raised $5.5 million in seed funding to build its AI assistant, designed to help sales and pre-sales teams focus more on building Relationships, rather than focusing on building relationships. Doing heavy work.

The company’s generative AI assistant targets most of the non-sales activities that salespeople must handle, such as entering data into CRM systems, submitting requests for proposals (RFPs), researching customer information and building presentations. SiftHub integrates with information sources such as Google Drive, Slack, Zendesk, HubSpot and Salesforce, allowing sales and pre-sales teams to complete information security questionnaires, vendor evaluation forms, and submit RFPs and requests for information (RFI) simply by talking to its AI assistant sheet. The assistant is available as a bot, Microsoft plug-in, Chrome plug-in, and web app through Slack and Microsoft Teams, and is available in 10 languages, including Spanish and German.

“When salespeople sell to businesses, they should spend more time building relationships, which has a direct impact on revenue,” Raisinghani told TechCrunch. “When you don’t have to hire so many pre-sales people to do the deep technical work for you, you save time, which impacts your bottom line,” she told TechCrunch.

SiftHub’s AI assistant is built on open source Large Language Models (LLMs) and is powered by Retrieval Augmented Generation (RAG) technology, which uses additional data sources to fine-tune the quality of AI-generated content. Using RAG on top of LLM helps SiftHub limit hallucinations—a common problem with generative AI where the system produces incorrect or misleading results. The startup also uses cross-encoders to prevent its platform from selecting the wrong information from a given knowledge base. Cross-encoders analyze two queries simultaneously, rather than looking at each query individually, to provide more accurate answers.

“We would rather not give an answer than give the wrong answer,” Reisinghani said. The founder added that SiftHub’s system may give 5% fewer answers, but she believes the AI’s answers will be correct at least 75% of the time.

SiftHub also uses “intelligent search algorithms” that consider the recency of a document or knowledge source to display relevant, up-to-date information, Raisinghani said.

After more than 10 years at LogiNext, Raisinghani saw the need for a solution like SiftHub when he was advising blockchain startup Polygon Labs on its go-to-market strategy in 2022. She realized that finding information about Polygon was a difficult task because the data was not available through a single source because it was stored on multiple platforms. Sales and pre-sales personnel need a lot of information about the company and its business operations when approaching potential customers. Finding information through different sources, including your company’s Slack channel and other unorganized documents, is a tedious task that can take a lot of time.

She then spoke to about 200 users to better understand the problem statement and categorize their responses into different use cases. All of this ultimately led her to focus her attention on the sales and pre-sales teams.

“The sales team has a shadow team — the presales team or solutions engineers — who are often the unsung heroes of the organization. They do a lot of the technical work, from submitting RFPs (requests for proposals) to finding answers to customer questions,” she explained. “If you save time for sales and pre-sales, salespeople will automatically spend more time building relationships.”

The market for AI startups focused on sales and pre-sales operations has gained traction in the past year since generative AI took off. Companies across industries, from giants like Salesforce, Zoom, and Google to startups like Quilt, People.ai, and Darwin AI, are building GenAI-powered tools to let salespeople streamline tasks ranging from submitting routine forms to generating emails. Draft, populate your CRM with public customer information, generate copy, get recommendations on which prospects are likely to buy or churn, and more.

However, Raisinghani believes SiftHub has a unique advantage because it is more deeply integrated into customers’ business workflows and can solve the entire sales response problem – unlike “OpenAI or any other wrapper for LLM.”

The startup also relies on Raisinghani’s own experience in scaling startups and his team of 15, which includes some former entrepreneurs. “When you’re going to dedicate at least 10 years of your life to something, you want to make sure you’re excited and really believe that this is going to happen in the next decade,” she said. The company is headquartered in the United States, with an R&D team in Mumbai, India.

This round of financing will be used to hire more personnel for product research and development, enhance product quality, and help the company go to market. The seed round was co-led by Matrix Partners India and Blume Ventures, with participation from Neon Fund and executives and founders from Super human, Cloudflare, DevRev, RazorPay and SuperOps.

SiftHub will initially target B2B companies with revenues between $50 million and $500 million that sell to mid-market and enterprise customers. The AI ​​assistant is currently available to a small group of users for early feedback, and the startup plans a “full rollout” later this year.

“Buyers are becoming smarter and are engaging with sales and asking more advanced questions later in the buying process. As a result, sales team expectations have changed – they need to understand advanced product, technical and legal information to win . Sales and pre-sales teams lack the necessary tools to cope with this new sales environment. We are excited about SiftHub’s vision to use AI to manage product knowledge so sales can focus on relationships,” said Pranay Desai, Partner, Matrix Partners India said in a prepared statement.

“SiftHub is Manisha’s second venture in the SaaS space. With over a decade of entrepreneurial experience and an impressive track record, Manisha and her team are building a game-changing AI platform to transform the entire sales and Pre-sales process. We are excited to support the SiftHub team and be a part of their ambitious journey,” said Sanjay Nath, Partner at Blume Ventures.

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