Indian telecom giant Bharti Airtel, on Wednesday (September 23), announced that it has picked up a strategic stake in Thiruvananthapuram-based cloud telephony startup Waybeo in order to scale up its cloud offerings.
With this, Waybeo has become the fifth startup to be inducted into the Airtel Startup Accelerator programme. The telecom giant has previously invested in edtech startup Lattu Kids, fitness-focused startup Spectacom, conversation AI-startup Voicezen and jobs marketplace Vahan.ai.
Airtel launched its startup accelerator programme to support the growth of early-stage Indian tech startups. The company said that it aims to support the creation of a vibrant startup ecosystem that contributes to the government’s digital India initiative. The startup accelerator programme will help early-stage startups to get access to Airtel’s online and offline distribution network, deep market understanding and ecosystem of global strategic partners.
Waybeo was founded in 2008 by Krishnan R V Iyer, Bijoy B S and Manu Dev. It has built deep AI-powered cutting-edge analytics tools for the enterprise cloud telephony segment. With its partnership with Airtel, the company will get access to Airtel’s network of 2,500 enterprises and more than a million emerging businesses with an integrated product portfolio, including Airtel Cloud.
Commenting on the development, Airtel’s chief product officer, Adarsh Nair, said, “Cloud technologies are transforming the way businesses serve and delight their customers. We are thrilled to onboard Waybeo to our Startup Accelerator program and provide them a platform to scale up their technologies as part of Airtel’s world-class cloud services ecosystem.”
According to an IDC report, the public cloud services market in India is likely to reach $7.1 Bn by 2024. Within this, the cloud telephony market is seeing rapid growth as businesses move processes to cloud based platforms. Waybeo competes with Firm Knowlarity and Exotel in the cloud telephony domain.
Knowlarity was founded by IIT Kanpur graduate Ambarish Gupta in 2009. It is headquartered in Singapore and with offices in Gurugram Mumbai, and Bengaluru. The company counts Delta Partners, Sequoia India, Mayfield, Blacksoil and Trifecta Capital as its investors.
Exotel was founded in 2011 by Shivakumar Ganesan, Vijay Sharma, Siddharth Ramesh, Ishwar Sridharan. It was launched with an aim to solve the pain points of managing calls and SMSes from customers without getting into the hassles of a full-fledged call centre or having to be bound to one phone. Exotel’s investors include Blume Ventures and Mumbai Angels.