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Cloud telephony company Knowlarity Communications has acquired Delhi-based Smartwards, a customer engagement platform that simplifies loyalty for local businesses and their customers, for an undisclosed amount.

As part of the move, co-founders of Smartwards, Shantanu Mathur and Dhanraj Singh Bisht will lead the India operations for Knowlarity. Mathur has earlier been the CEO of ecommerce portal FashionAndYou.

Founded in 2013, Smartwards’ proprietary technology enables SMBs to identify, reward and engage customers, in-store and out-of-store. It has a presence in over 150 locations across eight cities.

With the acquisition, Knowlarity will integrate Smartwards’ product and technology into its own product ecosystem to provide enterprise software solutions to small & medium businesses.

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Ambarish Gupta, founder and CEO of Knowlarity, said, “ We look forward to working with the Smartwards team and utilise its expertise. Shantanu and Dhanraj are entrepreneurs who are early movers in the space and do not shy away from tackling complicated problems. We look forward to them driving the core communication business in India and utilize their experience in developing more analytical tools.”

Knowlarity was founded by IIT Kanpur graduate Ambarish Gupta in 2009. It provides cloud communication and communication tools including, IVR, fax and conferencing facilities for SMEs, enterprise customers and individuals. The company makes cloud communications between businesses reliable and intelligent by providing a suite of hosted products that help businesses improve their productivity. It is headquartered in Singapore and with offices in Gurgaon, Mumbai, and Bangalore.

Ambarish added that the company will continue to use acquisitions as a natural extension of its strategy to further build capabilities and acquire top talent.

Knowlarity has so far raised about $22.5 Mn from investors like Sequoia Capital and Mayfield. The company was also featured in India’s top 30 B2B software product companies compiled by iSPIRT in Indian Software Products Industry Index – B2B. This is the second acquisition for Knowlarity.  It earlier bought Unicom Techlabs Pvt. Ltd, another startup in the same space in 2014. Its competitors in the cloud telephony space include Exotel Techcom Pvt. Ltd and Ozonetel Systems Pvt. Ltd, who have also made acquisitions in the last couple of years.

Last year, Exotel acquired Voyce, a platform that allows businesses to gather customer feedback, and Croak.it, a voice-based social media startup.


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