Bangalore-based cloud telephony company, Exotel, will now make its tools and rules for building software applications in the Southeast Asian market, with a foray into Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia.
The company is predominantly targeting the tech-enabled service industry, with an aim to help businesses talk to their customers with accountability, tracking and privacy intact. “We are going to be adopting a developer-first approach globally. As a behind-the-scenes ecosystem enabler, we will also support early-stage startups by offering them Exotel for free,” said Shivakumar Ganesan, co-founder and CEO at Exotel.
An initial investment of $10 Mn (about INR 66.5 Cr.) is planned for the next two years, a majority of which will be used for operational and sales spends.
“When we were thinking of our expansion plans, we first wanted to target markets similar to India. Both in terms of culture and population, Southeast Asia is therefore the logical first step. The propensity of people to use the service of tech-enabled companies in this region to go about the daily lives, is high. In India, we estimate that people in the metros use tech-enabled services 0.27 times a day. This tech-enabled service could be anything ranging from booking a cab to ordering a meal online to buying something from an ecommerce website,” said Ganesan.
The overseas operations will be supervised by Varun Raj, co-founder of Voyce, a customer-feedback firm that Exotel had acquired last November. Singapore will be the headquarters for Exotel’s Southeast Asia operations.
In the recent development, Exotel launched a research division called Exotel Labs to spur innovation in the voice space. It will have a team of researchers specialising in machine learning, data mining and signal processing to help solve the major problems in the domains of voice and speech analysis, data mining, and machine learning.
Exotel was founded by Shivakumar Ganesan, Ishwar Sridharan and Siddharth Ramesh in 2011, 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. It currently powers communication for over 1000 businesses including brands like Ola, Uber, Flipkart, etc.
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