Gupshup, a enterprise messaging platform that started its journey in India 15 years in the past, shocked many when it raised $100 million in April this yr, roughly 10 years after its final financing spherical, and attained the coveted unicorn standing. Now simply three months later, the San Francisco-headquartered startup has secured much more capital from high-profile buyers.
On Wednesday, Gupshup stated it had raised a further $240 million as a part of the identical Collection F financing spherical. The brand new funding was led by Constancy Administration, Tiger World, Assume Investments, Malabar Investments, Harbor Spring Capital, sure accounts managed by Neuberger Berman Funding Advisers, and White Oak.
Neeraj Arora, previously a high-profile govt at WhatsApp who performed an instrumental function in serving to the messaging platform promote to Fb, additionally wrote a big test to Gupshup within the new tranche of funding, which continues to worth the startup at $1.four billion as in April.
In an interview with TechCrunch earlier this week, Beerud Sheth, co-founder and chief govt of Gupshup, stated he prolonged the financing spherical after receiving too many inbound requests from buyers. The spherical is now closed, he stated.
The startup, which operates a conversational messaging platform that’s utilized by over 100,000 companies and builders immediately to construct their very own messaging and conversational experiences to serve their customers and clients, is starting to think about exploring the general public markets by subsequent yr, stated Sheth, although he cautioned a last choice is but to be made.
The brand new funding, which incorporates some secondary transactions (some early buyers and staff are promoting their stakes), shall be deployed into broadening the product choices of Gupshup, he stated. The startup can be eyeing some M&A alternatives and will shut some offers this yr, he added.
Earlier than Gupshup grew to become so in style with companies, it existed in a special avatar. For the primary six years of its existence, Gupshup was greatest identified for enabling customers in India to ship group messages to pals. (These low-cost texts and different intelligent strategies enabled tens of tens of millions of Indians to remain in contact with each other on telephones a decade in the past.)
That mannequin finally grew to become unfeasible to proceed, Sheth instructed TechCrunch in an earlier interview.
“For that service to work, Gupshup was subsidizing the messages. We have been paying the associated fee to the cell operators. The thought was that when we scale up, we’ll put ads in these messages. Lengthy story brief, we thought as the amount of messages will increase, operators will decrease their costs, however they didn’t. And likewise the regulator stated we are able to’t put adverts within the messages,” he stated earlier this yr.
That’s when Gupshup determined to pivot. “We have been neither in a position to subsidize the messages, nor monetize our person base. However we had all of this superior expertise for high-performance messaging. So we switched from shopper mannequin to enterprise mannequin. So we began to serve banks, e-commerce corporations, and airways that must ship high-level messages and may afford to pay for it,” stated Sheth, who additionally co-founder freelance office Elance in 1998.
Through the years, Gupshup has expanded to newer messaging channels, together with conversational bots and it additionally helps companies arrange and run their WhatsApp channels to have interaction with clients.
Sheth stated scores of main corporations worldwide in banking, e-commerce, journey and hospitality and different sectors are among the many shoppers of Gupshup. These corporations are utilizing Gupshup to ship their clients transaction data and authentication codes, amongst different use circumstances. “These aren’t promoting or promotional messages. These are core service data,” he stated.
It is a growing story. Extra to comply with…