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Messaging platform Gupshup turns unicorn with $100 mn fundraise

Tiger Global Management has led yet another India born startup into the unicorn club this week. Silicon Valley headquartered conversational messaging platform Gupshup has announced raising $100 million from the New York based alternative investments firm, valuing the company at $1.4 billion.  

In a statement, the company said that the ongoing funding round will also see participation from other investors, who are expected to infuse “significant additional funds”. 

The company will utilise the capital from the latest round to scale its product and go-to-market initiatives to accelerate transformation of business-to-consumer (B2C) interactions with conversational experiences over messaging channels, the statement said.  

Founded in 2004 as Webaroo Inc by Beerud Sheth and Rakesh Mathur, Gupshup started out as an offline search engine. It later pivoted to a SMS-based B2C social network, which did not bring in much revenue. The company then moved to a B2B model to provide customer engagement across SMS and other channels. Gupshup has now gone on to include hyperlinks to SMS and added OTT messaging channels, such as WhatsApp for Business, RCS and the Gupshup IP messaging channel, to its platform. 

“Customers expect to converse with businesses the way they do with friends. They expect the conversation to be simple, easy, quick, contextual, and personalised,” Beerud Sheth, CEO of Gupshup, said. “Gupshup’s mission is to build the tools that help businesses better engage customers through mobile messaging and conversational experiences.” 

The firm offers services such as messaging APIs, bot platform, bot building tools, scripting engine, omni-channel inbox, conversational AI and client-side software. Its carrier-grade platform provides messaging APIs across more than 30 channels.  

The company, which works with business in India, the UK and US, claims to have clocked an annual revenue run rate of $150 million in 2020. 

“The growth in business use of messaging and conversational experiences, transforming virtually every customer touchpoint, is an exciting secular trend,” John Curtius, partner at Tiger Global Management, said in the statement.  

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.”

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