Thursday, 2023 December 7

SoftBank turns Indian SaaS startup Mindtickle into unicorn with USD 100 million check

In a move that shows SoftBank’s growing appetite for B2B startups in India, the Japanese conglomerate has turned a low-profile enterprise tech platform into a billion-dollar company.

San Francisco and Pune-based startup Mindtickle, which provides sales enablement solutions to fuel revenue growth for enterprises, has raised USD 100 million in a Series E round led by SoftBank Vision Fund II. The new funding comes just nine months after the Tokyo-headquartered investor wrote its first USD 100 million check for the company.

Mindtickle’s existing investors, including Norwest Venture Partners, Canaan, NewView Capital, and Qualcomm Ventures, also participated in the round. The latest investment deal values the company at USD 1.2 billion, more than double what it was valued at in the last round. With the recent funding, Mindtickle has raised a total of USD 281 million in venture capital so far.

Founded in 2011 by Mohit Garg, Deepak Diwakar, Krishna Depura, and Nishant Mungali, Mindtickle began as a gamified platform for users to gain knowledge that rewarded those who successfully completed their lessons. The platform was soon used to engage sales teams by ‘tickling’ their minds to help them become peak performers while providing useful data insights. Over the last decade, the company has grown to serve over 2,000 global enterprises, including Johnson & Johnson, Merck, Splunk, Snowflake, AppDynamics, Wipro, MongoDB, Nutanix, Cloudera, and Juniper Networks.

According to the company, globally, sales enablement technologies are projected to grow to USD 4.23 billion by 2027, and the conversation intelligence market will reach USD 13 billion by 2025.

“Revenue leaders understand that sales readiness is a mission-critical component of their strategy to consistently meet or exceed their goals,” said Krishna Depura, Mindtickle CEO and co-founder, in a statement. “They are taking more square ownership of these programs and partnering with their sales enablement, revenue operations, and training teams to create a continuous state of excellence across their organizations.”

Munish Varma, a managing partner at SoftBank Investment Advisers, said the Japanese investment firm has been impressed by Mindtickle’s performance “in creating and becoming a category leader in the sales readiness space.”

“The product has become an essential part of any sales organization, and we are excited to support the company in its growth,” he said in a statement.

The ten-year-old startup has become the 20th firm to turn into a unicorn this year, and the eighth Indian B2B SaaS platform to enter the elite club after Freshworks, Druva, Icertis, Postman, Zenoti, Chargebee, and BrowserStack.

Aside from Mindtickle, SoftBank has co-written USD 100 million-plus checks for social commerce startup Meesho, banking tech platform Zeta and business-to-business commerce firm OfBusiness this year, which has landed them in the unicorn club. Overall, SoftBank currently has 15 billion-dollar-plus portfolios in India, of which it has added six since the pandemic hit the country in March 2020.

Moulishree Srivastava
Moulishree Srivastava
In-depth, analytical and explainer stories and interviews on technology, internet economy, investments, climate tech and sustainability. Coverage of business strategies, trends in startup and VC ecosystems and cross-border stories capturing the influence of SEA, China and Japan on the local startup industry.

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