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Exclusive: South Korea's Channel Corp. raising $30M extension

Illustration of two open briefcases facing each other with speech bubbles over them as if they're having a conversation.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Channel Corp., a South Korean customer support startup, is raising a $30 million Series C extension, its co-CEO Josh Jaehong Kim tells Axios exclusively.

Why it matters: The company plans to use the round to grow its AI capability and expand into the U.S.

Zoom in: If there's enough investor demand, Channel could expand the round to a $100 million Series D, Kim says.

  • Part of the proceeds will fund its purchase and development of an AI-driven customer support system.

Catch up quick: The retail tech provider has raised $30.7 million to date, the most recent of which was a $28 million Series C in 2020, Kim tells Axios.

  • The company has also struck secondary transactions, including one with Korea Investment Partners, a domestic asset manager.

By the numbers: Last year Channel generated $28 million in annual recurring revenue and aims to hit $50 million this year, Kim says.

How it works: The company's Channel Talk product (formerly Channel.io) provides business messenger tech for the retail industry and consumer brands— live chat functions for companies and customers.

  • The tech enables employees to chat with each other as well as with customers all in one channel, with features such as video calls, voice calls and customer relationship management tools.
  • Half of all of its clients are e-commerce businesses. One-third are in the fashion or apparel industries and the rest are from various parts of retail and consumer brands spaces.
  • Clients include brands such as Coach, New Balance and Champion.

The bottom line: The goal of this round for Channel is "to take the lead on AI customer support," Kim says.

Editor's note: The story has been corrected to note Channel Corp. says it's raised $30.7 million (not $40 million as previously stated).

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