It seems that we have not left the funding boom behind. It is yet to be seen whether 2022 will repeat the successes of 2021 in terms of unicorns, but it is hoped that more startups will follow in the footsteps of Mamaearth.
The latest name to benefit from the boom in funding is customer engagement platform Exotel, which raised $40 million in its Series D funding round led by Steadview Capital. With this, the company has raised close to $100 million in funding over the last 15 months across a combination of various debt and equity rounds. It had last raised $35 million in funding a few months ago.
The proceeds from the current funding round would be utilized to deepen its presence in the Middle East and South-East Asian markets through more investments for potential acquisitions. This could enable its growth and add more omni-channel and full-stack capabilities to its platform.
The current funding round will also enable Exotel, which acquired Ameyo and Cogno AI earlier, to integrate and manage different tools into a single platform so that businesses get more time to converse with customers. It will also enable businesses to have access to a single customer profile across channels, so that “customers can resume conversations and pick up where they left off seamlessly.” It will also enable more intelligent chatbots productive agents.
Backed by names such as Blume Ventures and IIFL Asset Management, Exotel has acquired over 1300 customers in the last 12 months (including ITC Salaam in Saudi Arabia, Bajaj Allianz, City Mall, Krazybee, Shadowfax, and Tata Consultancy Services). The Bengaluru-based Exotel has evolved from its initial days from helping businesses communicate with customers. Today, it helps them engage with their customers with its chat, voice, email, video, and bots.
The company also plans to increase its current team size of 1000 by 700 by the end of the year. It also claims to be growing at 70%.
Exotel also provides services such as Number masking, Lead Assist, Virtual numbers, as well as APIs to developers and technology teams to build third-party applications for businesses. Founded by Shivakumar Ganesan in 2011, the company has clocked annualized recurring revenue (ARR) of $50 million and aims to hit an ARR of $200 million over the next four years.
Some of the big names who use Exotel’s services are Ola, Swiggy, Zomato, Byju’s, and HDFC Bank. “Enterprises want to unify their customer journeys to deliver connected experiences across touchpoints like web chat, co-browsing, video, etc,” Ganesan said. “This involves bringing together disconnected channels, bots, applications with siloed customer data across teams. For the first time, we are enabling this over the cloud with our full-stack platform.”