AI powered crowds, the hybrid disruption of traditional business models

by Nadine Torbey

AlbionVC has led a round of £5m in Limitless

We are excited to back co-founders Megan Neale and Roger Beadle on their mission to revolutionize customer care. Consumers are increasingly demanding a better quality and more personalised customer service experience.

Brands are seeking new ways of deepening digital engagement with their customers all while trying to reduce their customer care costs.

Armed with a wealth of experience from running customer call centres, co-founders Megan and Roger saw the opportunity to create a new business model, harnessing macro trends towards flexible working and automation. Limitless leverages the power of the crowds and machine learning to help businesses transform their customer experience by enabling their most loyal customers to be rewarded for providing on-demand support.

The Power of the Crowd

Crowdsourcing has revolutionized the way businesses function across many industries from logistics (Uber) and on demand services (Deliveroo) to hiring a workforce for specific tasks/jobs (Amazon Mechanical Turk) and enabling developer collaboration (Microsoft/GitHub) or even curating information (Wikipedia). We see the power of the crowd first hand in other marketplaces we have backed, across childcare (Koru Kids), education (Academia and Matr) and healthcare (Locum’s Nest and uMotif) to name a few.

As Jeff Howe so elegantly puts it: “the crowd is more than wise - it's talented, creative, and stunningly productive. It's also a perfect meritocracy, where age, gender, race, education, and job history no longer matter; the quality of the work is all that counts.”

Having access to an incentivized, loyal and engaged community has enormous potential and has implications at an economic, political and social level.

These crowd platforms enable social benefits including improved products and services along with improved quality of life for workers and democratised access to work. A crowd worker is able to choose where and when to work. Compare this to the experience of the average call centre worker, with very low job satisfaction, who typically leaves their job in less than a year.

Hybrid Automation

We do not believe that many industry activities will move from human labour to full automation.

Now, and in the future, we will see hybrid solutions leveraging technology to improve human productivity, but not replace humans altogether.

In customer care, there will always be a need for human interaction. But hybrid solutions like Limitless make humans significantly more productive by automating responses where possible, or providing suggested responses if needed.

In addition, Limitless offers (cherry on the cake!) a way for brands to deepen their relationship and engagement with their customer community by paying some customers to help other customers.

Regardless of your views on automation, such hybrid solutions bypass the debate by introducing systems that leverage the best of both worlds.

Innovative Business models, Disruption and Experienced Entrepreneurs

Some argue that the greatest innovators are external to the industry and unclouded by bias or traditional incentives. Limitless showcases the opposite is often true by introducing a disruptive business model which was only made possible by a deep understanding of the market dynamics and customer need. This is one of the reasons why we value experience in an entrepreneurial team.