AI-focused CRM startup Yalochat closes Series A round from Sierra Ventures
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San Francisco-headquartered artificial intelligence-based customer relationship management (CRM) platform Yalochat has raised $8 million (Rs 56 crore at current exchange rates) from San Mateo-based and Peter Wendell-founded venture capital firm Sierra Ventures to expand its operations in India, a top executive said.

“This money will be used to expand the company's operations in the subcontinent. We already have taken up an office in Mumbai which will serve as the company's India headquarters," Deepak Ravindran, founder of venture capital firm Pirate Fund and who is also responsible for Yalochat's India operations, told TechCircle over a phone call.

Ravindran said that one of the Pirate Fund's objectives was to help foreign businesses expand operations in India. The VC firm will help Yalochat set up its business in the country.

He added that the company would use the capital to hire at least 50 new engineers in the country to service existing clients such as the Kerala government, insurer Edelweiss Tokio, payments firm PayU and lender RBL Bank. Its global customers include beverage giant PespiCo and US retail behemoth Walmart.

The company had earlier raised a seed round of about $2 million, he said.

The company, in a statement, also said that it was on the lookout for an Indian chief technology officer who will work in coordination with global CTO Kyle Passarelli, former director of engineering of PayPal.

Yalochat, which serves as a CRM platform, offers companies AI-based bot services over messaging channels like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and WeChat, thus making it unnecessary for the firms to build separate apps. By using Yalochat, companies can have better chat experiences that often result in quicker resolutions for their customers.

 “At Yalochat, we have constantly aimed to give companies ease of access and use related to CRM through our AI-based platform. While our product and services have earned the recognition of global enterprises, our WhatsApp native solution will significantly bolster the prospects of introducing our chat-based CRM solutions to a lot more organisations," Javier Mata, founder and chief executive of Yalochat, said in the statement.

Ravindran said that Yalochat was one of the exclusive partners of WhatsApp, founded by Jan Koum and Brian Action in 2009 and later acquired by Facebook in 2014.

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