Additional sum will go toward a share buyback from employees, investors
Gupshup, a conversational messaging platform for companies to manage customer interactions, on Wednesday said it has raised an additional $240 million in follow-on funding that will go toward a share buyback from employees and existing investors ahead of a US listing next year.
The funding round was led by investors, including Fidelity Management and Research Co. Llc, Tiger Global Management Llc, Think Investments Llc, Malabar Investments, Harbor Spring Capital Llc, accounts managed by Neuberger Berman Investment Advisers Llc, White Oak, Neeraj Arora and others.
This latest round follows the $100 million funding from Tiger Global in April at a $1.4 billion valuation.
San Francisco-based Gupshup helps businesses interact and manage customer requirements through AI-powered conversations on messaging apps across marketing, commerce, and support workflows. Customers can discover products, pay for them, track delivery, provide feedback and get support in a business aimed at building a conversational rapport between customers and businesses.
“A large part of this round of fundraising will go towards the secondary purchase of shares from current and ex-employees of the company as well as the existing investors. We ran a tender offer process concurrently with this round, and over 200 employees have tendered part of the shares they held. Some of our investors who have been invested in the company for a long time also tendered some of their shares," said Beerud Sheth, co-founder and chief executive of Gupshup.
Some of the early investors of Gupshup include Helion Venture Partners and Charles River Ventures, which had invested in the company in 2008.
“When we were raising the previous $100 million funding from Tiger, there was a lot of interest from many other investors. So we decided to do this second round, which helped us provide liquidity to our shareholders. And since we are looking to go public, it was a good opportunity to bring in these marquee crossover investors in this round," said Sheth.
Gupshup is eyeing a US listing sometime in 2022, he added.
Gupshup, which ended 2020 with an annual revenue run-rate of approximately $150 million, is present in India, Latin America, South-East Asia, West Asia, Eastern Europe, Africa and the US.
“The company is growing at 60% year-on-year, and we are hoping to accelerate this growth. India comprises 80% of the business, and the US is the next big market with 10-15% share, but geographies such as Latin America and South-East Asia are seeing fast growth," said Sheth.
While the majority of its business coming from enterprise customers, Sheth said the focus will also be to tap small businesses that have been forced by the pandemic to quickly go digital. “Conversations represent the new digital storefront for businesses - virtually every business will need to build them. And small businesses are an untapped market where we see a lot of growth coming from," said Sheth,
Gupshup is also exploring M&A opportunities.
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