Hey Jude

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IndustrySupport Services
Founded2015; 5 years ago (2015)
FounderMarcus Smith
Cape Town
South Africa

Editor: Marthia Keorapetse

Hey Jude is a human-powered digital assistance service that combines people and technology to provide “augmented intelligence”. The application uses artificial intelligence (AI) and emotional intelligence (EI) to process data, recognise patterns and supply automated responses to assist consumers and employees with their day-to-day needs.[1]


Hey Jude was founded in 2015 in Cape Town, South Africa by Marcus Smith.[2] It is a subscription-based service that combines technology and human intelligence to help customers with their to-do lists. Through the process of analysing member requests and data for interests, sentiment, emotion, opinion and more, a member profile is built. This makes it possible for the application to offer a personalised service which meets the client’s needs and unique requirements.[3]

By using a message-based interface, clients can elaborate on requests by uploading images or, if preferred, voice notes can be used. Clients can ask for assistance for anything that needs to be researched, booked, quoted, organised or even transacted. The interface links the client to a specialist with experience in that field, the specialists are known as ‘Judes’.[4] 'Judes' can be asked to complete tasks such as restaurant bookings, finding unique items, travel bookings, accommodation, car licence renewals, locksmiths, electricians, dealing with local councils on their behalf, and much more.[5] The Judes are real people that use technology, their own local knowledge, and emotional aptitude to get clients’ tasks done. Clients therefore communicate with a problem-solving human, and not a bot.[6] Hey Jude offers its clients a 24/7 service. Clients are able to use the Judes services for three free tasks, before being required to pay a monthly subscription fee.[7]

Hey Jude has also introduced ‘Hey Jude for Business’ (Hey Jude Pro) which focuses more on business related requests and offers two flexible configurations based on the business needs. The first is the fully hosted solution, where clients get a large and experienced service team that operates 24/7 and is housed and managed by Hey Jude. The technology, including the app, is co-branded according to the client’s customer intelligence, and it develops a communications strategy before undertaking the full design, branding and management of the app. The second solution is Software and a Service (SaaS). Hey Jude deploys and supports the software while recruiting, training and upskilling a company’s in-house call centre agents to run the app. It also provides real-time in-house and in-app reporting and customer tracking. All branding, embedding, call centre management and marketing, however, remain the client’s responsibility.[8] The Hey Jude application can also be integrated into an existing app, essentially providing another channel for service delivery to customers or employees.[9]


Since its inception, Hey Jude has grown and expanded globally, and is currently available in more than 30 countries, including Japan, United Kingdom, Brazil, United Arab Emirates, New Zealand, United States of America and many more. While Hey Jude provides its services in English, the countries in which it functions in can expect to communicate to the ‘Judes’ in the first language of the country.[10] T In April 2019, Bank Windhoek, Namibia partnered with Hey Jude and launched the Hey Jude for Bank Windhoek app. The Hey Jude for Bank Windhoek app assists customers with research, sourcing suppliers, negotiating prices, and with the facilitating of payments.[11]


Hey Jude received its funding from the Private Labels Promotions (PLP) Group. With this it has also received assistance with getting the product to market in not only the Business-to-Consumer (B2C) space but also the Business-to-Business (B2B) space as well.[12]

Award and recognition

Hey Jude was recognised as the Best South African Application at the 2017 MTN Business App of the year Awards.[13] It was also recognised as the Best Service App at the 2017 Stuff Magazine Gadget and App Awards.[14] In 2017, Hey Jude was also a National nominee at the 2017 World summit awards.[15]