Morpheus-backed Plivo raises $1.75M from Andreessen Horowitz, others
Plivo Inc., a US-based voice and messaging apps platform provider, has received $1.75 million in seed funding from Andreessen Horowitz, Battery Ventures, Qualcomm Incorporated and SV Angel. The funds will be primarily used for innovation and expanding the sales and marketing efforts. The company, which has 17 employees, plans to increase this number to over 20 by December end. It will also be expanding its platform beyond voice and messaging into areas such as video and WebRTC, which will enable apps such as voice calls and video chat without plugins.
“As more web browsers support WebRTC, we’re seeing strong interest from our customers. We’re well down the WebRTC development path and will make some product announcements later in the year,” said Mike Ricordeau, co-founder, Plivo.
The startup was founded by Venkatesh B (Venky) and Ricordeau. Venky holds an engineering degree in Computer Science from Visvesvaraya Technological University. Prior to Plivo, he has worked in telecom product companies Subex Ltd, Narus Networks and Huawei. Both the founders met at GitHub, a social network for programmers, where the idea of Plivo came about.
The company enables users (businesses and developers) to develop telephony applications and abstracts the complex telephony infrastructure into simple, powerful and scalable HTTP APIs. It enables enterprises, service providers and web developers to rapidly deploy voice and SMS applications fully integrated into web sites or any telephony endpoint fixed or mobile. Customers have the option to bring their own carrier service or leverage Plivo’s. In simpler terms, it aims to bridge the gap between telephone and the Internet.
While the company is based in the US (San Francisco), it also has an operations office in Bangalore, India.
The new investment takes the company’s total funding to $2.17 million. In July this year, the startup had received $1,67,000 in funding from startup accelerator Y Combinator and its partners. Around the same time last year, the company had received $10,000 from The Morpheus (TM), a startup accelerator founded in 2008 by the husband-wife duo of Sameer Guglani and Nandini Hirianniah.
The startup was part of Batch Six of Morpheus and post-completion, it also received $250,000 from Morpheus’ investor partners including Seeders Venture Capital Pvt Ltd and One97 Mobility Fund.
The company, which was operating in a closed-invite mode since October last year came out of the mode in July and launched its API platform for voice and SMS applications. It already had a dozen customers at that time, out of which 50 per cent were paid customers including Imprezzio.com, CalliFlower.com, Calltacular and MeuTarô. While he did not disclose the exact number, Venky mentioned that the company has grown in multiple of dozens now. The service is currently available in over 50 countries.
“Hosted telephony is poised to explode as more companies move their applications to the cloud. Plivo’s technology delivers value to enterprise customers and has the potential to seriously disrupt the space. We’re happy to support the company to help drive growth and capture the opportunity ahead,” said Roger Lee, general partner at Battery Ventures.
(Edited by Prem Udayabhanu)
Battery Ventures VIII Side Fund LP is a $750 million fund which invests in technology and technology-enabled businesses located across the globe, primarily in North America, Israel and India. The fund targets companies operating in the fields of software, infrastructure technologies, communication services, semiconductors and components, internet and digital media, financial services and tech-enabled businesses, clean tech and advanced materials. It provides venture capital financing for seed stage, early stage, and late stage capital requirements. It also provides financing for buyouts, take-privates, rollups, and PIPEs transactions. In case of India investments the fund targets companies operating in the fields of consumer finance, consumer internet, mobile, software, tech-enabled services, BPO/ITES, components, infrastructure and communications services, and clean technology. It provides financing for early and growth stage capital requirements in the range of INR 4.4 crores to 44 crores (~USD 1 to 10 million) and from INR 44 crores to 132 crores (~USD 10 to 30 million) respectively.