deena jacob

Virtual messaging assistant app Helpchat, previously known as Akosha, has appointed Deena Jacob as its chief financial officer. Jacob joins Helpchat from TaxiForSure, where she was the head of finance for almost 2 years.

Before TaxiForSure, Jacob worked as the head of finance at furniture portal Zansaar.com for two years. Prior to that, she was a business research lead at Ernst & Young for over a year, a vice president at Amba Research for over 5 years, a solutions manager at ICICI Bank for a year, assistant manager of finance at Aditya Birla Minacs for 2 years and assistant manager at Deloitte & Touche for a year.

Akosha-Helpchat rebranding: Mid last week, Delhi-based online customer feedback platform Akosha rebranded to HelpChat, which works as a virtual messaging assistant. Akosha will shut its complaints redressal platform.  For its rebranding exercise, it tied up with Mumbai based Ogilvy & Mather and Open Design for the brand, logo and market services. Note that HelpChat does not currently have a website, only an app. The company found that since the nature of queries to the Akosha platform had changed from complaints to other help services, it thought of converting to HelpChat. Akosha and HelpChat’s parent Coraza will apparently continue its B2B help desk software platform called OneDirect.

HelpChat’s local and on demand services: HelpChat provides mobile and DTH recharge services, gadget tech support, travel ticket booking, holiday package guidance, coupons, deals, product search, stylist support, at home beauty services, movie tickets, gift orders and suggestions, on demand laundry, ordering from local grocery shops, home services and direct chat with businesses through the app.

Haptik-Akosha accusation: In March, Haptik, an app which previously let its users get customer service for queries and company transactions but moved on to becoming an instant messaging personal assistant, had accused Akosha of cloning its app.

Akosha’s funding from Sequoia Capital: Less than two months ago, Akosha had raised $16 million in a series B round of funding led by existing investor Sequoia Capital. The company had previously raised $5 million in a series A round of funding in July last year and a seed investment of $200,000 in September 2011, both from Sequoia Capital. The company planned to use the funds to improve technology and expand Akosha’s enterprise solutions offering OneDirect suite.