Even as the COVID-19 pandemic continues into 2021, this new year, unlike 2020, is proving to be quite a good one for startups. Especially in India, the pace with which startups are joining the unicorn club is quite remarkable. In case you're not keeping a track, India has already witnessed its tenth unicorn startup and the latest one to join the party is conversational messaging platform Gupshup.
The San Francisco-headquartered Gupshup, which started its journey in India 15 years ago, has raised $100 million in its Series F funding round from Tiger Global Management. With this funding round, the startup is valued at $1.4 billion, making it the tenth Indian startup to earn the unicorn tag this year alone. Gupshup CEO Beerud Sheth told Moneycontrol that an IPO for the startup is in the offing soon and the company is looking at a second round of funding worth more than $100 million from multiple investors soon.
"The growth in business use of messaging and conversational experiences, transforming virtually every customer touchpoint, is an exciting secular trend," said John Curtius, a partner at Tiger Global Management, in a statement. "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."
For the unversed, Gupshup is a conversational messaging platform with over 100,000 users. The company's clientele includes businesses and developers who use the platform to build their own messaging and conversational experience to serve their users and customers. The startup has raised $150 million to date and the last funding round was concluded in 2011, TechCrunch reported.
Scaling to new heights
Gupshup plans to use the new funds to scale its product suite and go-to market initiatives across the world.
"We are expanding to many countries. We're already big in Latin America and are now expanding to Africa, Europe, Southeast Asia, and so on. We are also expanding our team in India very aggressively," Sheth said.
"Gupshup is already a profitable company and this capital just allows us to take a few more risks to invest ahead of the curve, which means we can have a ready solution even if the market is not ready and evangelise. It also enables us to do some selective acquisitions in adjacent areas," he added.