Wigzo specialises in multi-channel marketing solutions across email, the web and mobile apps
The company aims to break the data silos for online sellers and help them increase customer engagement, retention and conversion rates
In January 2022, ecommerce logistics provider and enablement firm Shiprocket acquired a 75% stake in Wigzo Technology for an undisclosed amount
Giving a fillip to India’s ongoing D2C rush and the subsequent evolution in martech to bolster small businesses, ecommerce logistics provider and enablement firm Shiprocket recently announced picking up a 75% stake in marketing automation startup Wigzo Technologies. This is the company’s first major acquisition in 2022 and the joining of forces is likely to expand their respective product stack.
It is a timely development. Given the huge shift to ecommerce, especially the direct-to-consumer (D2C) sub-sector, India is home to 800 plus D2C brands in the wake of the pandemic. It is no surprise that this unprecedented growth has impacted the likes of Wigzo, an AI-driven marketing automation company that helps create traction and disrupts the ecosystem because of its advanced technology capabilities. The startup boasts more than 400 enterprise clients and claims to have helped many brands increase their gross merchandise value (GMV) by 20-26%.
However, Wigzo was not exactly on a roll a few years ago. It was nothing more than a ‘run-of-the-mill’ email marketing platform, a byproduct of the digital revolution that shook the world in recent years, said cofounder and CEO Mohammed Umair.
It all started when three friends working for The Times of India were bitten by the proverbial entrepreneurial bug and decided to start their venture. Eventually, the trio — Mohammed Umair, Himanshu Kaushik and Mohammed Atyab — developed a marketing tech product called Wigzo in 2014.
Back then, the New Delhi-based startup catered to various industry segments such as healthtech, edtech and ecommerce. But the cofounders sensed the wind of change about to impact the way the world was buying and selling and decided to focus on ecommerce alone. And their ‘gut’ feeling regarding the sector’s potential paid off.
“When we started, the retail industry was dominated by brick and mortar outlets, and ecommerce was seen as a niche by the country’s biggest retailers. Over the years, there has been a tectonic shift in the mindset,” said Umair.
The Journey From Vision To Reality
The swift adoption of the internet and a massive uptick in online shopping meant ecommerce brands had to manage huge swathes of customer data and analyse the same to gain actionable insights. It was an onerous task for most businesses, but Wigzo cofounders saw a great opportunity emerging from the chaos. In a bid to break data silos and help brands overcome big data challenges, the company pivoted to a customer data platform (CDP) and developed a suite of automated marketing solutions. It currently houses more than 4 Bn data points.
The pivot had its own set of challenges, though. According to Umair, the company initially struggled to build a CDP and create its niche in an already overcrowded market. The decision to fine-tune its software with the ecommerce industry to specifically cater to the pain points of ecommerce companies caused a flurry of debates both internally and with its investors. Eventually, the stakeholders agreed that ecommerce would be the next big wave in retail and Wigzo should prepare for it.
Since then, the company has registered commendable growth, especially during the pandemic. In FY21, its revenue grew to INR 19 Cr from INR 15 Cr in the previous year, recording a 26.6% increase , and its client base soared from 200 to 487.
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“With its underlying CDP rails and other applications such as business intelligence, consumer behaviour, data analytics, and automated assistance, Wigzo packs a cutting-edge platform enabling every D2C brand to create tailored and personalised experiences for its target customers. It also helps brands analyse data in real-time through big data and AI or ML algorithms in just a few clicks,” Sahil Goel, cofounder and CEO, Shiprocket said in a press release.
Wigzo’s most popular offerings include its data capture and predictive analytics tools spread across different conversational channels such as email and SMS, WhatsApp and FB Messenger. It also offers on-page personalisation via push notifications to offer personalised deals during website/app engagement. The input thus received and analysed ensures better targeting insights and helps optimise these channels for marketing campaigns.
“We provide brands with the ability to manage data analytics and get business intelligence for marketing automation and customer retention. Everything comes under a single integrated dashboard, helping them market more efficiently, save money and generate higher sales,” he added.
Shiprocket Acquires Wigzo: Is It A Perfect Match?
In January this year, Wigzo Tech decided to raise funds to tap into the fast-growing D2C space, but the narrative took a different turn. According to Wigzo’s CEO, it was Shiprocket that approached them. “We were in a deep discussion with another firm, but one night, around 11:30 PM, one of our investors called us and said that Shiprocket wanted to have a word. Of course, we were aware of Shiprocket’s rise,” Umair recalled.
From then on, there was no turning back as Shiprocket’s value proposition was, indeed, a good fit for Wigzo. Things moved rather quickly, from the first Zoom call to finalising the term sheet, and Wigzo closed the deal with the shipping automation platform in a matter of eight days.
Speaking on the latest development, Umair said, “This is the most exciting time for the D2C space. We would have missed a rocket ship had we not jumped at the opportunity. Shiprocket has a big name, and we are proud to partner with it.”
Industry trends are proof that most founders leave their companies after an acquisition, but this is not the case here. Both companies have mapped out their post-acquisition course to ensure the best outcomes. While Shoprocket will helm Wigzo’s operations, the martech firm’s founding team will continue to scale it up over the next few years, explained Umair. “There are some amazing things in the pipeline. We are very excited to bring many industry-first products together,” he added.
In essence, Wigzo will combine its specialisation in purchase behaviour with Shiprocket’s end-to-end logistics and fulfilment efficiency to provide a superior customer experience for online sellers. As Wigzo’s core competency is data, it aims to add more products and data integrations in its tech stack through Shiprocket.
Shiprocket has so far raised over $354 Mn in funding. Last year, the startup raised $185 Mn in Series E round led by giants like Zomato and wealth fund Temasek.The startup also counts Tribe Capital, March Capital, PayPal Ventures, and Infoedge Ventures amongst its investors.
Bringing Wigzo under its wings (a sort of backward integration in a broad sense) Shiprocket can significantly boost its scale and operational efficiency. Adding intelligent marketing to its logistics bouquet will make it a one-of-its-kind platform for online merchants seeking multiple solutions under one roof.
With the world of retail constantly evolving, service enablers like Wigzo and Shiprocket need to up their game all the time to stay ahead. In the wake of the pandemic, consumers have opted for online shopping due to convenience and safety. While this presents a lucrative opportunity for D2C brands, companies must constantly revamp their strategy to improve customer engagement, retention and conversion for sustainable growth. It will be interesting to see how Wigzo’s recent acquisition pans out and if it can resolve these challenges and create more opportunities for India’s D2C genre.