Australia’s largest operator Telstra invested in Boomtown, a US-based provider of business support services for small and medium-sized enterprises.

The investment was made through the operator’s Telstra Ventures as part of Boomtown’s latest funding round.

Telstra Ventures MD Mark Sherman said Telstra saw this investment as an opportunity to use proven technology and the growing popularity of digital marketplaces to make life easier for Telstra’s business customers, particularly for payments and networking related issues.

Business owners can use the Boomtown Connect app to communicate through a live chat or video session to get on-the-spot IT support and personalised technology training. The app, which is designed in collaboration with Apple, is simple, intuitive and has been proven to reduce support times by more 50 per cent compared to traditional phone-based interactions, Sherman claimed.

Alfred Kahn, founder and CEO of Boomtown, said it is looking to expand the geographical footprint of its platform and with Telstra’s strong customer base both in Australia and Asia, its investment plays a significant part in that endeavour.

“As SMBs increasingly rely on complex and integrated technologies to operate and grow, the traditional fragmented support market is unable to deliver the seamless support experience that business owners need. We designed our platform to solve this problem,” Kahn said.

Boomtown is enjoying success in the US with the growing popularity of its social support platform, which allows technology and service providers to collaborate and solve technology problems for their small business customers in real time, said Sherman.

In addition to remote support provided through the Connect app, Boomtown also has a network of over 600 certified technicians that can provide in-store support to customers across the US and undertake technology installations.

Telstra is trialling Boomtown’s services in the small-business market in Australia. “Telstra Platinum Technical Support is already one of our most popular consumer customer service offerings, and Boomtown could potentially take that to the next level for our business customers,” said Sherman.

The investment comes just days after Telstra invested an undisclosed amount in Singular, a San Francisco-based mobile analytics firm that analyses the traffic of many of the world’s most popular mobile apps.