Gupshup Turns Unicorn After Raising $100 Mn From Tiger Global
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San Francisco-headquartered conversational messaging platform Gupshup on Thursday announced it has raised $100 million in funding from Tiger Global Management, propelling the company’s valuation to $1.4 billion.
Ten Indian startups have become billion-dollar valued companies/unicorns in the first four months of 2021. Of this, six turned unicorns this week on successive days, highlighting the heightened funding interest in startups in the country. The latest to join the list is Gupshup, a messaging platform with operations in Mumbai and the US.
This funding will be followed by a second close with significant additional funds raised from more investors, to be announced later. This latest round follows years of profitable growth, product innovation, and customer adoption that saw Gupshup emerge as the global leader in conversational messaging. Gupshup’s API enables over 100,000 developers and businesses to build messaging and conversational experiences delivering over 6 billion messages per month across 30-plus messaging channels.
The company 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, 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.”
Over the last few years, business messaging has become more conversational as SMS messages include hyperlinks along with the rise of newer IP-based messaging channels, such as WhatsApp, RCS, and the Gupshup IP (GIP) messaging channel. Gupshup has been a pioneer and first-mover driving this industry transition to conversational messaging. 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. Gupshup offers a comprehensive suite of solutions including messaging APIs, bot platform, bot building tools, scripting engine, omnichannel inbox, conversational AI, client-side software and more.
“Customers expect to converse with businesses the way they do with friends. They expect the conversation to be simple, easy, quick, contextual, and personalized,” explained Beerud Sheth, co-founder, and chief executive officer, Gupshup. “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.”
The ubiquity of smartphones and the 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, the company shared.
Gupshup’s last funding round was in 2011 and has been growing rapidly over the last few years, exiting 2020 with annual revenue run rate of approximately $150 million.