San Francisco and Mumbai-headquartered Gupshup, which enables companies to build messaging services and bots to interact with customers, has raised USD 100 million from Tiger Global at a valuation of USD 1.4 billion. With this, the New York-based hedge fund has catapulted four companies this week to the unicorn club, companies with a valuation of at least USD 1 billion.
The 16-year-old company, which claims to be profitable for years now, said it will raise additional funds from more investors before doing the second close of the ongoing Series F financing round.
Beerud Seth, co-founder and CEO of Gupshup, started the company in 2005 to let customers send group messages over SMS. Six years later, it realized that model was not going to make money and pivoted to providing smart messaging services to enterprises that had money to pay. It was about the same time when the company raised its Series E round.
After the pivot, Gupshup grew rapidly and by the end of 2020 was clocking an annual revenue run rate of approximately USD 150 million.
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Currently, Gupshup has enabled over 100,000 developers and businesses to build messaging and conversational experiences for customer engagement. It claims to deliver six billion messages per month across 30 plus messaging channels. Gupshup plans to use this investment to rapidly scale product and go-to-market initiatives worldwide.
“The growth in business use of messaging and conversational experiences, transforming virtually every customer touchpoint, is an exciting secular trend,” said John Curtius, partner at Tiger Global Management.
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. In addition to its market leadership, Gupshup’s unique combination of scale, growth, and profitability attracted us.”
The company said its product, which is tailored for a mobile-first economy like India, is seeing great traction in emerging markets with similar dynamics.
“Customers expect to converse with businesses the way they do with friends. They expect the conversation to be simple, easy, quick, contextual, and personalized” explained Sheth.
He said Gupshup aims to build tools that can help businesses engage with customers in a better way through mobile messaging. “As we work towards our mission, we are delighted with this investment from Tiger Global, given its incredible track record of making big, bold, successful bets on innovative, category-defining companies worldwide.”
Besides Gupshup, the list of companies in which Tiger Global invested this week at a billion dollar plus valuation, includes Cred, wealth tech platform Groww, and social networking firm ShareChat.