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Enterprisetech Unicorn Gupshup Buys Cloud Telephony Startup Knowlarity

Enterprisetech Unicorn Gupshup Buys Cloud Telephony Startup Knowlarity

Sequoia India to retain investment in Knowlarity and will get an equity stake in Gupshup. Other investors to fully exit

The deal will strengthen Gupshup’s conversational engagement portfolio, especially in the voice segment

Founded in 2009, Knowlarity offers AI-backed cloud communication solutions to more than 6,000 clients across 65 countries

Conversational engagement platform, Gupshup, will acquire cloud-based telephony startup, Knowlarity, for an undisclosed amount.

The deal is expected to close by the end of this month subject to clearance of all norms. DC Advisory acted as the sole financial advisor to Knowlarity on the transaction.

Sequoia India, which is a major investor in Knowlarity will retain its investment and will get an equity stake in Gupshup. Other investors, meanwhile, will fully exit the startup.

The deal will strengthen Gupshup’s conversational engagement portfolio. This will allow the startup to assimilate Knowlarity’s AI powered tools in their business suite.

Gupshup CEO and cofounder, Beerud Sheth, said, “With the addition of Knowlarity’s products, businesses will now be able to build seamless conversational experiences across both messaging and voice channels. Knowlarity is the clear market leader in voice – their comprehensive product suite spanning cloud telephony and contact center automation, along with excellent customer traction will further enhance Gupshup’s leadership position.”

Echoing the sentiment, Knowlarity CEO Yatish Mehrotra said, “We at Knowlarity are excited to be a part of Gupshup. This will lead to richer experiences for our existing and future customers along with product enrichment and significant geographic expansion opportunities. Our customer-centric, innovation-focused cultures are perfectly aligned and we see significant synergies and new products emerging from the combination of two great teams.”

Knowlarity was founded in 2009 by Ambarish Gupta and Pallav Pandey. The startup shifted its headquarters to Singapore in 2013. It offers AI-backed cloud communication solutions to more than 6,000 customers across 65 countries. 

Knowlarity has so far raised more than $42.5 Mn in funding from a marquee group of investors including Sequoia India and Mayfield.

The startup has clients across multiple sectors including banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI), consumer goods, IT, among others. Knowlarity also has industry partnerships with major players including Google Cloud, Salesforce, Freshworks, Hubspot, Zoho among others. 

Knowlarity competes with other players such as Ozonetel, CometChat, MyOperator and Exotel.

On the other hand, San Francisco-based Gupshup was founded by Beerud Sheth in 2004. Gupshup is a conversational messaging platform that caters to businesses from multiple sectors including banking, ecommerce, hospitality and consumer goods. Some of its clients include Kotak Mahindra Bank, IndusInd Bank, HDFC Bank, Ola, Zomato, and Flipkart.

Earlier in April last year, Gupshup had turned a unicorn after it had raised close to $100 Mn in Series F funding round led by Tiger Global. This round helped push the startup’s valuation to $1.4 Bn. 

Knowlarity is Gupshup’s second acquisition in the last four months. The startup had earlier acquired rich communications services platform, Dotgo in September last year.

The acquisition comes barely days after another customer engagement startup Exotel raised $40 Mn in a Series D funding round led by Steadview Capital. Before that, Communication Platform as a Service (CPaaS) startup, CometChat, raised $10 Mn in a Series A round led by Signal Peak Ventures, among others.

Exotel also acquired two startups last year. First it was Ameyo in June of 2021, followed by Mumbai-based cloud communication platform. Cogno AI in November last year.

The global customer service software market size was estimated to be worth $1 Bn in 2020 and is expected to grow to $2.5 Bn in 2025, at a CAGR of 20.4%. 

The burgeoning demand for better business-to-customer interaction has led to a boom in the sector and the increasing capital inflow is a testament to that. The announcement appears to be a good sign of the times to come.