Cloud telephony company Exotel has raised INR 40 Cr ($5.4 Mn) funding from A91 Partners in a mix of primary and secondary share sale, leading to exit of early stage investors and employees from the company.
Of the raised funding, around INR 1.5 Cr ($203K) is being earmarked towards the buyback of employee stock ownership plan (ESOP), which will be the first such exercise in the nine-year history of the company.
Exotel plans to use this funding to capitalise on the enterprise digital adoption wave in the aftermath of the pandemic and invest in new-age technologies to power chatbots, voice translation services, caller sentiment analysis, automatic call quality assessment and more.
It will also use this funding to accelerate the product development and enter new markets overseas. In particular, it is looking at the growing revenue contribution from markets such as Southeast Asia to plot its expansion in the coming years. “With the addition of A91 Partners and their investment, Exotel is closer to our goal of bringing cutting edge customer communication technology to the fastest growing companies in southeast Asia,” the company said in a statement.
Given that about 80% of the company’s revenue currently comes from India, the new funding will help in expanding the client base in overseas markets. The company claims to have witnessed 2x year-on-year growth in revenue for the past few years. In FY2020, Exotel reported INR 120 Cr ($16 Mn) in revenue.
Founded by Shivakumar Ganesan, Ishwar Sridharan and Siddharth Ramesh in 2011, Exotel is a cloud telephony company that provides APIs for voice, messages and user verification services over voice telephony or internet communications. The company claims that it now facilitates about 4 Bn cloud calls a year for its 4K+ customers.
In the last few months, the company claims to have enabled transitioning of around 15,000 agents or employees to the cloud as work from home became the preferred choice for employers due to the pandemic.
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. Exotel competes with Firm Knowlarity and Waybeo 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.
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. The company recently raised funding from Indian telecom giant Airtel.