As the demand for digitization rose in the pandemic, the need for SaaS skyrocketed. Investments in Indian SaaS startups amounted to $4.5 billion last year, an increase of 170% from 2020. Out of the over 1000 SaaS startups in the country, many have breached the $1 billion mark, and Hyderabad-based Darwinbox became the first Indian SaaS-based company to enter the unicorn club this year.
It became a unicorn after raising $72 million in new funding round, led by Netflix investor — Technology Crossover Ventures (TCV), as well as existing investors Salesforce Ventures, Sequoia, Lightspeed, SCB 10X, JGDEV, Endiya Partners, and 3One4Capital. With this, the company has raised over $110 million in funding to date.
The unicorn club saw a massive number of Indian startups become members last year, and the trend continues. The first month of 2022 has already produced four unicorns so far – Mamaearth, Fractal, and LEAD are the three other unicorns.
According to the six-year-old Darwinbox, whose revenue doubled last year and grew by three times in the South-East Asia region, the proceeds from the funding round will be used to double its team to 1400, and accelerate its global expansion plans. Additionally, its product offerings will be expanded to add several ancillary services and solutions.
This year, the company will be focussing on enhancing visibility into employee context with rich data around employee sentiment (Voice of Employee), their current skills, aspirations, performance history, their preferences— location, mode of work, need for infrastructure, and others. They will also focus on the controls needed to define the contextually rich experience.
Darwinbox operates a cloud-based integrated HR platform to automate and simplify the processes of HR. This includes recruitment, Core transactions, Payroll, Employee Movement, Employee Engagement, Talent Management, and People Analytics. Its platform is used by several renowned names in the industry, such as Swiggy, Domino’s, and Starbucks, who use its platform to handle recruitments and gain visibility on their performance and attrition rates.
Its offering also includes a social network for employees to stay connected with one another, along with an AI assistant to apply for a leave or set up meetings, with quick voice commands.
The company claims to have clocked a growth of 200% in the past year (fuelled by the pandemic) and is eyeing an entry into the US markets this year. It may also consider going public over the next two to three years after it has attained a certain revenue threshold.