GupShup - Helping Businesses Have Better Engagement

Sarika Anand Sarika Anand
Apr 11, 2021 8 min read
GupShup - Helping Businesses Have Better Engagement

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Company Profile is an initiative by StartupTalky to publish verified information on different startups and organizations. The content in this post has been approved by Gupshup.

Bots are the software created by developers that conducts automated interactions with people in real time. A recent study showed that the number of users on messaging app have exponentially increased. This shift towards messaging indicates that the bot phenomenon is truly here to stay.

Every Fortune 500 company has a bot strategy. Gupshup is a bot-building platform that encourages the creation of advanced bots. Gupshup gives creators all the tools required in bot development lifecycle. One can build their bot in the cloud and can deploy it in a single click into 25+ messaging and voice platforms including Facebook Messenger, Slack, Skype, Line, Google Home, and many more.

Know more about Gupshup' s story by reading this article further.

GupShup - Company Highlights

Startup Name GupShup
Legal Name Webaroo Inc.
Headquarters San Francisco, California
Industry Information Services, Information Technology, Messaging, Bot Development
Founder Beerud Sheth and Rakesh Mathur
Founded Jun 1, 2004
Current CEO Beerud Sheth
Website www.GupShup.io

About GupShup and How it Works?
GupShup - Target Market Size
GupShup - Name, logo and Tagline
GupShup - Founder and History
GupShup - Vision and Mission
GupShup - Business Model
GupShup - Revenue and Growth
GupShup - Funding and Investors
GupShup - Partnerships
GupShup - Competitors
GupShup - Challenges Faced
GupShup - Future Plans
GupShup - FAQs

About GupShup and How it Works?

Gupshup, formerly called SMS Gupshup, Webaroo, is a messaging services and bot-development company operating in India, the US, and the UK. It provides SMS, email, Voice, USSD, and IP messaging and chatbot development to leading Retail and e-commerce companies.

The Gupshup team has extensive experience in building bots for companies such as Unilever, SAP, Tata Sky, TITAN, Vogue, and many more.

The company provides a range of bot-building tools. The IDE bot developer gives you all the features of a full-fledged development environment right in your browser. It is built on NodeJS and has multifile support, a customizable UI, and also a package manager. You can make HTTP calls to external services very easily.
Each bot also comes with its own database, to store and retrieve data. The most powerful feature of the Gupshup IDE bot builder is the bot scripting tool that enables the creation of bot conversations via a simple English script.

You can also build bots without a need for any coding via the Flow Bot Builder feature. Flow Bot builder gives you a code-free way of creating structured bots via a graphical editor. Bot interactions can be fully customized to involve users. One can even create structured messages and add media content with just a few clicks.

GupShup - Target Market Size

Since its inception in 2004, the company has experimented with a variety of business models in the messaging space, beginning with a consumer-focused community text messaging service, then a moment messaging app, and finally an enterprise messaging business that provides customer and brand communication solutions for developers and large businesses in a variety of industries.

Among the services offered by GupShup include messaging APIs, a bot platform, bot building technologies, a scripting engine, a multichannel inbox, and conversational interactions.

"Banking and financial services is the biggest category for Gupshup, followed by e-commerce, education, travel and hospitality, consumer goods and so on," Gupshup chief executive Beerud Sheth told.

Kotak Mahindra Bank, IndusInd Bank, HDFC Bank, Ola, Zomato, and Flipkart are some of GupShup's customers.

"Gupshup plans to use the new capital to scale its product suite and go-to-market initiatives across the world. We are expanding to many countries. We're already big in Latin America and are now expanding to Africa, Europe, Southeast Asia, and so on. We are also expanding our team in India very aggressively," Sheth said.

The CEO of GupShup also indicated selective acquisitions in adjacent areas that are there in the to-do list of Gupshup from the capital they've collected at the beginning of 2021.

GupShup - Name, logo and Tagline

"Gupshup" as the name implies is a Urdu term for 'having a conversation' is a leading smart messaging platform provider that enables better customer engagement through conversational messaging.

GupShup' s Company Logo
GupShup' s Company Logo

GupShup - Founder and History

GupShup was founded by Beerud Sheth and Rakesh Mathur.

Beerud Sheth, co-founder and current CEO of GupShup
Beerud Sheth, co-founder and current CEO of GupShup

Beerud Sheth, Co-founder of Gupshup, an alumnus of IIT Bombay and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), worked for Citibank and then Merrill Lynch before venturing into the startup world.

When the internet was the talk of the town and names like Google, Amazon, and many more echoed in the room, Beerud decided to not miss the opportunity of doing something new.

Beerud started a company named 'Elance' with his two IIT Bombay classmates before he was approached by Rakesh Mathur, who was an accomplished entrepreneur in the Silicon Valley. Mathur and Beerud started a company named 'Webaroo' in 2014-15.

β€œUsers could publish their thoughts like tweets, and people could follow them and receive messages,” Beerud explains. "Gupshup grew to 70 million users in India at a time when Facebook and Twitter had only one million users in the country."

Gupshup was a forerunner in its sector. Since the company was paying for all SMS, it was initially paying to cover all traffic. According to the CEO, they originally assumed that as production rose, expenses would decrease, but this did not occur for a variety of reasons. Second, Gupshup was unable to advertise as effectively due to regulatory constraints.

β€œWe were during a situation where we couldn't subsidies nor monetize,” Beerud adds. "We are just focused on building a sustainable, viable, and profitable business for the long term, rather than scaling up in unprofitable ways"

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GupShup - Vision and Mission

Gupshup' s mission statement says, "build the tools that help businesses better engage customers through mobile messaging and conversational experiences." Through the Gupshup API, Gupshup provides the means and framework to support these conversational interactions

GupShup - Business Model

Businesses use GupShup' s application programming interface for customer interaction across more than 30 contact networks, including SMS. Developing chatbots, omnichannel inbox capabilities, conversational AI, and client-side apps to handle interactions are among the API services.

According to the firm, the funds will be used to rapidly scale product and go-to-market campaigns around the world in order to accelerate the transformation of the business-to-consumer business model with conversational interactions provided across messaging platforms.


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GupShup - Revenue and Growth

Gupshup claims an 80 percent revenue increase from pre-pandemic levels, with an annual revenue run rate of around $150 million by 2020. This is GupShup' s first financing in nearly a decade just after profitable Artificial Intelligence based messaging platform brought up ten million dollars previously in 2011 from Charles River Ventures, Helion, and Globespan.

GupShup - Funding and Investors

GupShup has raised a total of $144.1M in funding over 6 rounds. GupShup is funded by 8 investors. Tiger Global Management and CRV are the most recent investors. With their recent funding, Gupshup has been bestowed with the Unicorn status in India.

Date Round Amount Lead Investors
Apr 8, 2021 Series F $100M Tiger Global Management
Aug 31, 2011 Series E $10M Tenaya Capital
Mar 2, 2010 Series D $12M Globespan Capital Partners
Oct 14, 2008 Series C $11M CRV, Helion Venture Partners
Dec 22, 2006 Series B $10M -
Jun 9, 2005 Series A $1.1M -

GupShup - Partnerships

Gupshup has inaugurated an artificial intelligence-powered client service platform for different businesses on WhatsApp, letting these businesses customize information and respond to individual customers through the use of the WhatsApp dashboard. This is the next step in the continuing collaboration between the two companies.

Gupshup is WhatsApp's largest partner by notification volume and provides WhatsApp enterprise customers with programmable messaging APIs and managed services to allow them to communicate with customers over WhatsApp Business.

"WhatsApp Self-Service will make it easier for small and medium enterprises to use the social media platform for customer communication", said Ravi Sundararajan, chief operating officer, Gupshup.

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GupShup - Competitors

Top competitors of GupShup are:-

GupShup - Challenges Faced

When GupShup(formerly called Webaroo) launched (in 2007), mobile was the only means to communicate with many people. At that point (which was before the smartphone era) everybody used to use feature phones. The sole way to reach people on feature phones was via SMS.

The corporate started off with a consumer side social network or social messaging. supported SMS, it allowed people to form their own groups and followers parallelly with Twitter. It had been free and simple to use. So, by using GupShup, one could send jokes to a few lakh people. That exploded to convince around 66 million Indian users. Between TRAI directives, unfortunately, SMS costs went up to an artificially high level. They were subsidizing SMS that became really expensive for the corporate.

Second, there was another directive that one could not send commercial messages or could not put messages containing advertisements in it. Advertising was the sole revenue model of GupShup. These were not tech-savvy policies. So, that was around 2012 when GupShup had to scale down on the consumer side.

GupShup - Future Plans

Business to consumer communication solution provider, Gupshup has raised $100 million in funding from Tiger Global Management and CRV within the first week of April 2021. Gupshup looks forwards towards using the funding to augment its product, expand globally, and also plans to gauge the acquisitions to assist it transform business communications across various messaging platforms.

Beerud Sheth, co-founder and the current CEO of GupShup, said that the funds collected will help them meet the increasing market demand for conversational experiences in business to customer interactions and that they chose to travel for it instead of having an operational income need.

GupShup - FAQs

What does GupShup do?

Gupshup, formerly called SMS Gupshup, Webaroo, is a messaging services and bot-development company operating in India, the US, and the UK Β providing SMS, email, Voice, USSD and IP messaging and chatbot development to many Retail and e-commerce companies.

Who founded Gupshup?

GupShup was founded by Beerud Sheth and Rakesh Mathur.

What companies do GupShup compete with?

GupShup' s top competitors are ServiceNow Now Platform, IBM Watson Assistant, TARS, ManyChat, Qualified, Rulai, e-bot7 and LivePerson.

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