, a conversational commerce enabler, is bullish on digital personalised shopping even as India enters the post-pandemic era where people are not under lockdown and don’t have to depend on online shopping alone.
The San Francisco-headquartered unicorn has recorded a 4x growth in the number of APIs (application programming interface) the company has created in the last few months. This number is only expected to grow.
“Let’s say if we were making 25 bots, now we are doing at least 100,” Ravi Sundararajan, Chief Operating Officer (COO), Gupshup, told YS.
“From the end of September last year (2021), we have grown phenomenally well. Using our conversational engagement platform, businesses are not only conversing with their end consumers after the purchase but also before, and while placing an order,” adds Ravi, a Harvard Business School-graduate who also headed the product teams for Akamai, among others. He joined Gupshup in 2011.
Gupshup Co-founder and CEO Beerud Sheth
Started in 2004 by Beerud Sheth, who earlier founded Elance, and Juglee’s founder Rakesh Mathur, under Webaroo Inc – Gupshup was initially modelled as an offline search engine, which later pivoted to a customer engagement platform for enterprises across SMS and other channels. At the moment, the firm provides services including conversational journey, which leads to product discovery and purchase completion, feedback and support among other services.
In India, the company started working with the likes of ecommerce platform Flipkart and Bhavish Aggarwal-led Ola when these giants were in their nascent stages.
“As they grew, we also managed to grow with them, and the more they succeeded, we started getting more interest,” says Ravi.
As of March 2022, Gupshup has 44,000 customers — up from 39,000 in 2020 and 36,000 in 2019. Currently, India is the company’s largest market, generating two-thirds of their revenue, followed by the US, Latin America, and Africa. The unicorn has started making inroads in West Asia as well.
According to Ravi, Gupshup started seeing accelerated growth in their customer base during the December-ended quarters of 2020 as well as 2021.
After the first pandemic wave in 2020, online shopping saw major traction as most users were forced to buy everything through digital channels. This meant that enterprises were trying to grab user attention by providing them with more personalised commerce across platforms, including WhatsApp.
Gupshup supports at least 30 channels, including SMS, WhatsApp, Instagram shopping, Line (which is popular in Thailand), and WeChat for China. Currently, Gupshup is present across 40 countries.