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Bengaluru: Conversational messaging startup, Gupshup, is the tenth startup to join the unicorn club this year, after it raised $100 million in funding from Tiger Global Management, propelling its valuation by ten-folds to $1.4 billion, the company said on Thursday.

Gupshup provides its application programming interface to businesses for customer engagement across more than 30 communication channels, especially SMS. This includes providing chat bots, bot building tools, omni-channel inbox capabilities, conversational AI, and client-side software to manage communications.

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According to the company, it will use this investment to rapidly scale product and go-to-market initiatives worldwide in order to accelerate the transformation of business-to-consumer interactions with conversational experiences delivered over messaging channels.

“The pandemic has accelerated the business need to touch base with their customers digitally and create messaging and conversational experiences. Further, there is a need to now create two-way conversational experience enabling higher value to customers. We will invest in product innovation and internal research and development, through this fundraise," Beerud Sheth, Gupshup co-founder and chief executive officer, told Mint.

According to Sheth, owing to the pandemic, there is an accelerated demand from even offline retail touchpoints including restaurants, grocery stores, and salons, which now look to build conversational experiences to reach consumers digitally.

Gupshup’s last funding round was in 2011, with the company continuing to be profitable since. The company exited 2020 with an annual revenue run rate of $150 million, the company said.

At present, Gupshup’s API enables over 100,000 developers and businesses to build messaging and conversational experiences delivering over 6 billion messages per month.

“The growth in business use of messaging and conversational experiences, transforming virtually every customer touchpoint, is an exciting secular trend. Gupshup is uniquely positioned to win in this market with a differentiated product, a clear and sustainable moat. The company’s unique combination of scale, growth and profitability attracted us," said John Curtius, partner at Tiger Global Management.


The company has also seen increased demand from emerging markets such as Africa and South-east Asia, including India.

“Our solutions are optimised for mobile-first economies which include emerging markets of Latin America, South-east Asia, Africa as well as India. There is an accelerated demand from these geographies, and we believe that there will be a 50% growth in our revenues annually, with a 75% growth in messaging volumes on our platform," Sheth told Mint.

The first week of April has seen almost six startups, including Gupshup, attain a valuation of more than $1 billion. These include-social commerce platform, Meesho; e-pharmacy, API Holdings; social media platform, Sharechat as well as fintech startups, Groww and CRED.

Further, Tiger Global has led the round behind four of these startup unicorns, this week including - Meesho, Groww, Gupshup and Sharechat.

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