7 Best Live Chat Software for Startups 2024

Best Live Chat Software for Startups

Live chat software has become an essential tool for startups looking to provide real-time customer support and boost sales. With the rise of messaging apps and social media, customers today expect to get quick answers to their questions. 

Live chat allows startups to engage visitors proactively on their website and turn them into customers. The right live chat software can help startups increase conversion rates, improve customer satisfaction, and provide support at scale as they grow.

In this article, we will look at some of the best live chat software for startups. We will cover both free and paid solutions that offer different features to meet diverse needs and budgets. Whether you need basic messaging or advanced features like chatbots and analytics, there are great choices available. 

We will compare factors like ease of use, mobile support, integrations, scalability and cost to help you determine the right live chat software for startup. With the help of this guide, you will be able to make an informed decision and choose a solution that fuels your startup’s customer engagement and growth.

7 Best Live Chat Software for Startups at a glance

SoftwarePricingKey Features for Startups
ThriveDeskStarts at $25/monthOrder processing, Live chat, Knowledge base, Surveys, Third-party integrations (e.g., WooCommerce, EDD, Surecart and Freemius)
Zendesk ChatStarts at $69/agent per monthScalable solution, integrates with other Zendesk products, developer tools
FreshchatStarts at $19/agent per monthAffordable plans, integrations with popular business apps, freemium tier
OlarkStarts at $29/agent per month
Salesforce & Slack Integration, Chat Transcripts, Customizable Chat Box Branding, Automation Rules, Real-time and Scheduled Analytics Reports
Help ScoutStarts at $20/user per monthSimple and affordable, ticketing system included, mobile app for on-the-go support
DriftStarts at $2,500/month, billed annuallyConversational marketing features, website visitor tracking, chatbots for lead qualification
IntercomStarts at $39/seat per monthPowerful live chat and messaging platform, targeted messaging, chatbots

7 Best Live Chat Software for a Startups In Depth


ThriveDesk - Live Chat Software for Startups

ThriveDesk is the ideal live chat software for startups seeking to deliver top-notch real-time customer support. It combines robust live chat capabilities with shared inboxes, an AI knowledge base, and deep eCommerce integrations to enable personalized, context-rich assistance throughout the customer journey. 

By centralizing information across channels, ThriveDesk helps agents efficiently resolve issues while delighting customers. The affordable plans and shared team inbox allow early-stage startups to scale support capabilities as they grow. With ThriveDesk, startups can provide 24/7 exceptional service no matter their size.

Key features of ThriveDesk:

  • Seamless eCommerce Integrations: Seamless integration with leading eCommerce platforms like WooCommerce, allowing agents to handle orders, shipping, cancellations and more directly within the chat widget
  • WPPortal (Self-Service Customer Portal): Self-service portal enabling customer agents to provide instant support view order status and track shipments under one dashboard
  • Customizable Chat Widget: Customizable chat widget providing a personalized customer experience aligned with brand image
  • Real-Time Translation: Real-time translation breaking down language barriers when assisting international customers
  • AI-powered Editor: AI-powered corrections helping agents communicate effectively and avoid errors
  • Shared Inbox: Shared inbox and slash commands streamlining collaboration across departments
  • Granular Analytics: Granular analytics providing actionable insights on common inquiries, resolution times and agent performance
Intuitive and easy-to-use platform requires minimal trainingLack of native mobile alerts
Real-time translation, AI-powered editor, and shared inbox enable personalized and efficient interactions
Self-service portal empowers customers and reduces agent workload and company cost
Granular analytics provide valuable data to optimize support
Competitive plans available for different business sizes


Starter$25/month (4 seats)
Plus$49/month (10 seats)

ThriveDesk’s pricing plans are fair and competitive. The company offers a variety of plans to suit the needs of businesses of all sizes

With robust eCommerce capabilities, omnichannel integrations and customization options, ThriveDesk enables smaller businesses to deliver exceptional real-time support, nurture customer relationships and facilitate a smooth post-purchase experience – ultimately driving growth through improved conversion and loyalty.

Zendesk Chat 

Zendesk Chat

Zendesk Chat is a live chat and messaging software designed for companies to communicate with customers in real-time on their website, mobile app, and messaging apps. It allows you to have conversations with customers when they need help or have questions.

Key features of Zendesk Chat:

  • Live chat: Engage with website visitors and app users directly on their platform.
  • AI Chatbots: Automate common questions and tasks with AI bots.
  • Ticketing: Seamlessly convert chat conversations into customer service tickets for efficient tracking.
  • Predefined chat messages: Offer quick and consistent responses to frequently asked questions.
  • Visitor tracking: Monitor website visitor behavior and identify potential leads.
  • Reporting & analytics: Gain valuable insights into customer interactions and improve your support strategy.
  • Specialized program for Startups: They offer a 6 months free program for Startups with unlimited access to their community features and other Zendesk tools. 
Free for startups with up to 50 agents for 6 months (through Zendesk for Startups Program)More advanced features like reporting and analytics require paid subscriptions
Simple interface makes implementing and using live chat a breezeMight need additional integrations with your existing CRM or other tools for a complete picture
Grows with your business, allowing you to add more agents and features as needed
Provides real-time support for faster issue resolution and increased customer satisfaction


Suite team$69/agent per month
Suite Growth$115/agent per month
Suite Professional $149/agent per month
Suite EnterpriseCustom pricing



Freshchat is a powerful live chat and messaging platform that helps startups build meaningful connections with their customers and nurture growth. It allows you to offer real-time support across multiple channels, automate repetitive tasks with AI chatbots, and gain valuable customer insights to improve your product and service.

Key features of Freshchat:

  • Multi-channel messaging: Chat with customers on your website, mobile app, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and other popular channels, all from one unified platform.
  • AI chatbots: Automate frequently asked questions and simple support requests, freeing up your agents to handle more complex issues.
  • Shared inbox: Collaborate with your team to streamline customer communication. Agents can see conversation history and assign ownership for efficient resolution.
  • Powerful integrations: Connect Freshchat with your existing CRM, helpdesk, or marketing automation tools for a seamless experience.
  • Detailed reporting: Gain insights into customer behavior and sentiment to understand their needs and improve your offerings.
Freshchat offers a free plan for small teams, making it an accessible option for startups on a budgetLimited free plan features
Easily adapt to your growing needs with flexible pricing plansMay not offer advanced features like advanced chatbots or reporting compared to competitors
Intuitive interface and pre-built features make it quick to set up and use, even for non-technical teamsLess customization compared to advanced platforms
Provide personalized and immediate support, leading to higher customer satisfaction and loyalty


Growth$19/agent per month, billed annually
Pro$49/agent per month, billed annually
Enterprise$79/agent per month, billed annually



Olark offers an intuitive and customizable live chat platform designed to meet the needs of fast-growing startups. Its automation features allow early-stage companies to deliver personalized, on-brand customer support that drives user engagement and satisfaction.

Key features of Olark:

  • Visitor Behavior Tracking: Tools enabling granular tracking of visitor clicks, journeys and referrals for targeted engagement
  • Lead Qualification Automation: Rules triggering customized chat invitations when prospects meet conversion criteria
  • Shopper Profile Building: Custom data forms facilitating collection of detailed visitor information during chats
  • Personalized Real-Time Assistance: Tailored, branded chat boxes with automation expediting relevant responses
  • Support Staff Optimization: Features empowering monitoring, feedback and enhanced collaboration between agents
  • Unified Cross-Channel Analytics: Comprehensive reports compiling engagement rates, resolutions and ROI across channels
  • Expanded Platform Integrations: Suite of add-ons and over 40 native integrations with leading marketing and sales tools
  • Reliable Scalability: Trusted by leading enterprise brands for secure and flexible scaling to high chat volumes
Gather essential information before chats for efficient resolutionMost valuable features are locked behind paid plans
Increase sales by promoting deals directly within chatsReports of difficulties collaborating with colleagues within the platform
Easily access and integrate customer data for targeted sales effortsInaccurate status indicators for online users
Save chat transcripts for reference and share data with other sales toolsExpensive for smaller businesses
Analyze chat volume, satisfaction scores, and agent activity for actionable insights
Integrate with various tools like Zapier, MailChimp, and Google Analytics


Olark$29/agent per month
Olark ProCustom pricing

Help Scout 

Help Scout Desk

Help Scout is a customer service platform built for small businesses that value high-quality support experiences. With its shared mailbox, help desk, and knowledge base software, Help Scout makes it easy for Startups to deliver email or in-app support that feels personal and helpful.

Key features of Help Scout:

  • Simple and quick setup: Get started in minutes with an easy-to-use interface and no coding required.
  • Multiple chat agents: Manage multiple chats simultaneously to efficiently handle customer inquiries.
  • Real-time chat and ticketing: Respond to inquiries instantly or convert them into tickets for later follow-up.
  • Canned responses: Save time and effort with pre-written answers to common questions.
  • Chat history and visitor tracking: Review past conversations and track visitor behavior for better understanding.
  • Mobile app: Stay connected with customers on the go with the mobile app for agents.
Affordable pricing plans designed specifically for startupsThe free plan only offers basic features and one concurrent chat
Handle multiple inquiries simultaneously and resolve issues fasterWhile user-friendly, some advanced features might require guidance for new users
Offer instant support and personalized attention to customersAdvanced integrations with other platforms may require upgrading to a paid plan
Convert website visitors into leads and sales by providing real-time assistance
No need for technical expertise, ideal for businesses with limited resources


Standard$25/user per month, billed monthly.$20/user per month, billed annually.
Plus$50/user per month, billed monthly.$40/user per month, billed annually.
Pro$65/user per month, billed annually.



Drift is a conversational marketing platform designed to help startups connect with website visitors and convert them into qualified leads and customers. It allows you to have real-time conversations with website visitors, qualify leads, book meetings, and personalize the customer journey through chatbots, live chat, and video messaging.

Key features of Drift:

  • Custom Chatbots: Create chatbots that answer frequently asked questions, qualify leads, and book meetings 24/7, even when your team is offline.
  • Live Chat: Start real-time conversations with website visitors, answer their questions, and guide them through the buying process.
  • Drift Meetings: Schedule meetings directly from your website, without the need for back-and-forth emails.
  • Drift Video: Send short, personalized video messages to stand out from the crowd and connect with prospects on a deeper level.
  • Reporting & Analytics: Track key metrics like website traffic, engagement rate, qualified leads, and conversion rates to measure the effectiveness of your conversational marketing efforts.
Easy to set up and useGetting the most out of advanced features may require some learning
Saves time by automating repetitive tasks and qualifying leads automaticallyMay not be suitable for businesses relying heavily on offline sales
Provides personalized and real-time support to website visitors
Helps you capture more leads and convert them into paying customers


Premium $2,500/month billed annually
Advanced Custom pricing
EnterpriseCustom pricing


Intercom New

Intercom is a cloud-based customer communication platform designed to help startups build stronger relationships with their users. It offers a suite of features under one roof, allowing you to manage customer support, marketing, and product engagement effectively.

Key features of Intercom:

  • Live chat: Engage with website visitors and answer their questions in real-time.
  • Targeted messaging: Send personalized messages based on user behavior and website activity.
  • Chatbots: Automate common questions and free up your team for more complex inquiries.
  • Helpdesk: Manage customer support tickets and streamline the resolution process.
  • Product tours and announcements: Guide new users through your product and share important updates.
  • Data & reporting: Gain insights into customer behavior and track the performance of your communication efforts.
  • AI-powered assistant: Fin automatically answers questions (messenger, other channels) and assists your team (summarizes conversations, suggests articles, automates tasks). 
  • Integrations: Connect Intercom with your existing tools and CRM system.
Simplifies communication by having all features in one placeNo free plan
Intuitive interface makes it easy for teams to get started quicklyAdvanced features may require some learning and training
Grows with your business as your needs and customer base expandIntegrating with third-party tools may incur extra fees
Provides multiple channels for customers to reach you
Allows you to tailor your messages to individual needs
AI integrated across entire platform


Essential$39/seat per month
Advanced$99/seat per month
Expert$139/seat per month

Choosing the Right Live Chat Software for Startups

In the end, the wide range of features offered by ThriveDesk at an affordable price make it an ideal choice for most startups looking to provide exceptional real-time support. With its seamless eCommerce integrations, self-service customer portal, AI-powered assistance, and shared team inbox, ThriveDesk has everything growing startups need to scale personalized support capabilities as their business expands.

While solutions like Zendesk Chat, Freshchat, and Intercom offer robust features, they can prove expensive for early-stage startups with limited budgets. ThriveDesk’s competitive pricing plans ensure that startups can deliver 24/7 live support and drive growth no matter their size and resources. With the ability to nurture customer relationships in real-time and facilitate smooth post-purchase experiences, ThriveDesk emerges as the best live chat software for startups to boost conversions, improve loyalty, and ultimately fuel their success.

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