Its raining unicorns in India. Not the mythical animal, but firms whose valuations have crossed the $1 billion mark. the latest to join the coveted “unicorn club” is conversational messaging platform Gupshup.
The firm said Thursday it had raised $100 million in funding from Tiger Global Management, at a valuation of $1.4 billion. The announcement came shortly after Mohalla Tech, the parent firm of short video app Moj and Indic language social media platform ShareChat said it had raised $502 million from Lightspeed Ventures and Tiger Global, along with participation from Snap Inc, Twitter and India Quotient, valuing it over $2.1 billion.
Gupshup’s last funding round was in 2011. It exited 2020 with annual revenue run rate of approximately $150 million.
Gupshup said this round of funding will be followed by a second round with significant additional funds raised from more investors, to be announced later. Gupshup’s API enables over 100,000 developers and businesses to build messaging and conversational experiences delivering over 6 billion messages per month across over 30 messaging channels.
The company said it will use this investment to rapidly scale product and go-to-market initiatives worldwide in order to accelerate the transformation of business-to-consumer interactions with conversational experiences delivered over messaging channels.
“The growth in business use of messaging and conversational experiences, transforming virtually every customer touchpoint, is an exciting secular trend”, said John Curtius, Partner at Tiger Global Management. He added, “Gupshup is uniquely positioned to win in this market with a differentiated product, a clear and sustainable moat, and an experienced team with a proven track record. In addition to its market leadership, Gupshup’s unique combination of scale, growth and profitability attracted us.”
The company has long been the incumbent leader in business messaging in India. Most major brands in India across industries use Gupshup API for customer engagement across multiple channels, especially SMS.
Unlike the telco-based SMS ecosystem that is fragmented by country, IP messaging works exactly the same way globally thereby accelerating Gupshup’s global expansion. Gupshup’s technology, optimized for a mobile-first economy like India, is seeing great traction in emerging markets with similar dynamics. With a focus on automated, self-serve, developer-centric, partner-friendly APIs and solutions, Gupshup is making it easier and quicker for businesses, large and small, to leverage IP messaging and build conversational experiences for their customers. Gupshup offers a comprehensive suite of solutions including messaging APIs, bot platform, bot building tools, scripting engine, omni-channel inbox, conversational AI, client-side software and more.
The ubiquity of smartphones and dominance of messaging apps is forcing businesses to go where the consumers are: in their favorite messaging apps. Just like websites during the prior wave of technology-driven transformation, conversational experiences are enabling businesses to better engage, interact with and sell to their customers. Conversations are the new digital storefront for businesses – virtually every business will have to build it. This digital transformation has been further accelerated by the pandemic.
“Customers expect to converse with businesses the way they do with friends. They expect the conversation to be simple, easy, quick, contextual, and personalized” said Beerud Sheth, Gupshup Cofounder and CEO. “Gupshup’s mission is to build the tools that help businesses better engage customers through mobile messaging and conversational experiences. As we work towards our mission, we are delighted with this investment from Tiger Global, given its incredible track record of making big, bold, successful bets on innovative, category-defining companies worldwide”.