The San-Francisco headquartered business messaging platform Gupshup announced this week that it has raised US$240 million in Series F funding. This follows a US$100 million Series F funding in April this year. At that time, Gupshup was valued at US$1.4 billion. Thrilled by the recent capital raise, Beerud Sheth, Co-founder, Gupshup revealed that the raised capital will be used for global expansion and for engineering and product innovation, to accelerate holistic growth through sales as well as further tech enhancement. A part of the capital raised will be used to buyback shares and the company is also targeting mergers and acquisition towards the end of the year.
The recent funding round was led by strong investors including Fidelity Management, Tiger Global, Think Investments, Malabar Investments, Harbor Spring Capital, White Oak and a few accounts handled by Neuberger Berman Investment Advisers. According to Sheth, the involvement of high profile investors in the present funding round is due to the ongoing demand of “digital” conversational space and associated market trends. He also mentioned that this was a stepping stone for deepening relations with public market investors as this recent round witnessed far more involvement of investors than was expected. It is most likely hinting towards a possible IPO in the US market in the future.
Starting as a messaging platform that was used to send messages to friends, today Gupshup occupies prime space in the conversations platform. Banking, e-commerce, travel and hospitality enterprise customers are using the platform to send authentication and transaction information to their customers too; it is not just BAU or promotional content. Currently it is used by more than 100,000 businesses worldwide. The business messaging portal aims at 60% annual growth through subscriptions and an additional 25% hike for conversational messaging, since this is an emerging trend that is expanding world-wide. Now, it has extended its services to develop customer relations chatbots on applications and websites, to newer messaging portals such as WhatsApp, Facebook, and companies ranging from Amazon, HSBC, Citigroup, and more.
Gupshup's current suite of solutions includes messaging APIs, a bot platform along with building tools, a scripting engine, an omni-channel inbox and conversational experiences. The messaging bot platform is set to aim higher, not just in terms of global expansion but mergers, acquisitions, investments, innovations and IPOs.
Gupshup was founded 15 years ago in India by Beerud Sheth, when it started as a messaging platform for users. Having been unsuccessful in scaling up at the time, Gupshup then made its shift from consumer model to enterprise model and started selling its services to e-commerce companies, airlines, banks, etc.