Have you ever chatted with customer care of big business firms like Amazon, Flipkart, Axis Bank, HDFC Bank and many others? The answer will be Yes due to the current digital transformation globally. But, do you chat with the real person? The answer is No. Most of these firms have developed bots to communicate with customers. They know clients’ general query. It provides a real-time solution to most of the queries raised by the client.
If a bot is unable to clear your doubts, a customer care person will take over the conversation after few minutes. Forget about the big giants, small firms and individuals also take the help of bots to provide a real-time solution to their customers.
Who provides bots infrastructure to the business firms and individuals? Well, there are plenty of developers and software firms that are available to provide you with such solutions. Due to the advancement of technology, you can also create a bot with basic technical knowledge.
The banking sector and other similar organizations not only require bots but also need high security and privacy. There comes the involvement of professional firms to provide bot services.
Gupshup is one such firm that is providing a chatting/messaging environment to premium firms since 2004. It is a bot-building platform that provides advanced bots infrastructure to its customers.
The firm gives access to all tools required for bot development. Later its clients can customize these tools as per the business requirement. Clients can integrate these tools on available messaging and voice apps like Facebook messenger, Skype, Google Home and many more. It also gives readymade bots to its clients if required.
Journey of Gupshup
Seventeen years back, GupShup was founded in India. Initially, it was popular with the Webaroo name. Later, It was renamed Gupshup that is an Urdu language word. It means ‘having a conversation. It provides messaging service and bot solutions to its clients in India, the US, UK. Companies like SAP, Tata Sky, Unilever, and others are its major clients.
Beerud Sheth, co-founder and current CEO of GupShup is a graduate from IIT Bombay. He later studied at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). After completing his study, he joined Citibank to start his career. Later, he switched to the Merrill Lynch organization before starting his entrepreneur journey.
Rakesh Mathur, an entrepreneur in Silicon Valley and co-founder of Gupshup, invited Beerud to the USA in 2014/15. That is how Gupshup changed its base from India to the USA.
Talking about the initial operations of Gupshup, Beerud said:
“Users could publish their thoughts like tweets, and people could follow them and receive messages. Gupshup grew to 70 million users in India at a time when Facebook and Twitter had only one million users in the country.”
Gupshup could not earn any revenue in the starting phase due to a lack of advertisement that happened because of regulatory constraints. Initially, terms and conditions were not favourable to the tech firms like Gupshup.
Talking about that phase, Beerud said:
“We were during a situation where we couldn’t subsidies nor monetize. We are just focused on building a sustainable, viable, and profitable business for the long term, rather than scaling up in unprofitable ways.”
Popularity of Gupshup
The company has a wide range of boot development tools. Among them, the IDE bot developer is the most popular tool provided by Gupshup. Simple customization and powerful features of the IDE bot make it popular among clients. Flow bot Builder feature allows you to create a bot without any coding knowledge.
Since 2004, the firm has tried many business models like customer-oriented messaging, moment messaging, and enterprise messaging. Recently, Gupshup has focussed itself on enterprise messaging services to help brands and customers communicate.
Talking about the business sector where Gupshup is involved more, Gupshup chief executive Beerud Sheth said:
“Banking and financial services is the biggest category for Gupshup, followed by e-commerce, education, travel and hospitality, consumer goods and so on,”
Gupshup provides its services to global brands like Kotak Mahindra Bank, IndusInd Bank, HDFC Bank, Ola, Zomato, and Flipkart.
Financial Growth and Funding Details of Gupshup
The pandemic era helped Gupshup to grow exponentially. The firm claims that its revenue has increased by 80% in the pandemic year. It recorded a revenue of approximately $150 million in FY20.
The company has raised a total of $144.1 million in its six financial rounds. Recently, it joined the unicorn club with a $100 million funding raise from Tiger Global in April 2021.
How will Gupship utilize the funding? Answering this question, the CEO said:
“Gupshup plans to use the new capital 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.”
The firm is also looking to acquire some startups to scale up its functionalities in 2021.
Gupshup is a proud partner of WhatsApp. With the help of Gupshup infrastructure and WhatsApp Business platform, customers and business firms can easily communicate to strengthen their relationships.
Talking about WhatsApp services, Ravi Sundararajan, chief operating officer, Gupshup said:
“WhatsApp Self-Service will make it easier for small and medium enterprises to use the social media platform for customer communication.”