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LeadSquared turns unicorn with $153 mn fundraise from WestBridge Capital
Nilesh Patel, co-founder and CEO, LeadSquared

Sales automation software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform, LeadSquared run by MarketXpander Services Pvt. Ltd has become India’s 103rd unicorn after raising $153 million (around Rs 1,195 crore) in a Series C funding round from new investor WestBridge Capital and other existing investors.

A unicorn is a privately-held startup with a valuation of over $1 billion

LeadSquared enters the much-coveted unicorn club shortly after Purplle and Physics Wallah's fund-raising at unicorn valuation this month.

“With this financing, we will double down on growth investments in India and North America, start building in APAC (Asia-Pacific) and EMEA (Europe, the Middle East and Africa), add new offerings to our product portfolio and fund acquisitions. To support our growth, we plan to double our headcount in the next 18 months,” said Nilesh Patel, founder and chief executive officer at LeadSquared.

For the year ended March 2022, LeadSquared’s total income doubled to around Rs 200 crore, up from Rs 100 crore in FY21.

“We aim to achieve profitability over the next three years. We are growing but not burning cash. Given the opportunity, we will focus on growth and continue to spend but be sensible about it,” Patel told VCCircle adding that LeadSquared wants to solve the problem of scale, speed and complexities and are able to support high-growth businesses where automation is a big service.

The decade-old Bengaluru-based company helps improve efficiency and sales performance to over 2,000 companies helping them improve marketing, call centre, inside sales, field sales, and other feet-on-street teams, that include verifications, collections, vendor onboarding, etc.

"LeadSquared has shown a remarkable ability to scale and grow efficiently. Its focus on building a platform that transforms sales processes through automation has significant potential for growth in the global market,” said Sumir Chadha, co-founder and managing director at WestBridge Capital.

Barclays acted as the exclusive placement agent for the Series C funding.

LeadSquared was founded in 2011 by Patel, Prashant Singh, Sudhakar Gorti and Anand Kumar, who left the firm in three years.

The company first raised external institutional capital in May 2019 infusing $3 million as part of its Series A led by Stakeboat Capital. In its previous fundraising in Series B round, LeadSquared had raised $32 million led by Gaja Capital in December 2020 including a follow-up tranche in October 2021 from IFC, the private investment unit of the World Bank.  

It also counts Jyoti Bansal, an Indian-American technology entrepreneur, as one of its early investors.

LeadSquared, which competes with the likes of Salesforce, Pipedrive, Zoho and others, caters to organizations from the edtech, higher education, financial services, healthcare, ecommerce marketplaces and other sectors, with a substantial share of revenue coming from the education space.

Its clients include the likes of Byju's, Amity University, OLX, Dunzo, Practo, Poonawalla Fincorp, Godrej Housing Finance and Angel One.

Besides presence in India, LeadSquared has operations in the United States, the Philippines, South Africa, Australia and Indonesia. LeadSquared also plans to double its headcount in the next 18 months from presently 1,200 employees.

Its latest products include the launch of sales performance analytics and a suite of tools to digitize application processing (an important process for finance and education), its developer platform, and no-code workflow builder, the company said.

Amid the ongoing funding crunch and shrinking valuations, Patel says, “Directionally, SaaS is a good story and while valuations may change, funding to startups which are disrupting the space will continue.”

“LeadSquared is fast emerging as a category leader in high-velocity sales execution software. Nilesh and the team have built a strong platform with robust unit economics. With this round, the company has the balance sheet strength to further invest for growth in India as well as international markets, especially the US,” said Gaja Capital’s managing partner, Gopal Jain.

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