One Year (and $1MM) Later, Customer Support Software Maker Groove Emerges with 1,000+ SMB Customers

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Company turned down early acquisition offers and set out to build small-business-friendly help desk and live chat software.

Groove, the customer support software company that turned down two acquisition offers in 2011, has emerged from a year of development and testing with more than 1,000 paying customers using its freemium HelpDesk and LiveChat customer support products. The company is coming out of beta and opening its doors to startups and small businesses.

Groove’s HelpDesk application offers a hassle-free way for companies to manage customer support tickets via email, social media and mobile integration, while the LiveChat product focuses on real-time website visitor engagement. The company differentiates itself from competitors like Zendesk, SalesForce’s, oLark, SnapEngage and LiveChatInc with a freemium pricing model that offers HelpDesk users 250 tickets for free, and LiveChat users 100 chats for free, with the option to upgrade to a paid plan as the user’s needs expand. Customers will also be able to earn more free tickets or chats through various in-app actions, including inviting coworkers to use Groove, downloading Groove’s mobile apps, connecting Twitter and Facebook accounts, and more.

Groove’s development strategy also differs from that of its major competitors by focusing on ease of use and user experience, rather than features.

“Building a product with a hundred edge-case features that takes weeks to learn doesn’t help smaller, agile businesses,” said Alex Turnbull, Groove’s Founder and CEO. “Our approach puts the user experience first: speed, simplicity and an interface design that our users rave about, while offering powerful tools that can easily handle everything most small businesses need.”

Turnbull got the idea for Groove when he was trying to select a customer support solution for his previous venture, BantamLive (acquired by ConstantContact), and wasn’t impressed by the clunky UI’s, complex features and confusing workflows he found. He decided to build the product he wanted to use, and in doing so struck a chord with a number of small businesses going through the same challenges he did at BantamLive, many of whom migrated from Groove’s larger, more established competitors.

Ray Tamblyn, Co-Founder of PayDivvy, one of Groove’s first beta customers, explained that his company “looked at ZenDesk,, Kayako and others. Everyone talks about their features, but no competitor came close to how easy Groove is to use, or how beautiful the UI is. It’s on a totally different level.”

Groove has raised $1MM to date, and today the company is unveiling the results of the last year of development: a product and website redesign, a back-end overhaul, a refined user interface, and a disruptive pricing model that makes premium software accessible for startups and small businesses without enterprise-level budgets. Though users can sign up for one or both applications, the company offers both HelpDesk and LiveChat within the same interface, which means less onboarding time for users, fewer products to navigate and a much more efficient and affordable solution for small businesses.

New users can sign up for both HelpDesk and LiveChat for free at

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