Gupshup rides AI wave amid higher client spend | Mint – Mint

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Bengaluru: SaaS-based conversational messaging platform Gupshup, which claims to serve about 80% of India’s unicorns (startups valued at $1 billion or more), has benefitted from the boom in artificial intelligence and is seeing an increase in client budgets for experimental digital initiatives, a top executive at the firm told Mint.

“There are a lot of tailwinds behind the business because of the way conversational internet is shaping up. Every business has started to realise that they need to engage with customers, so there is a lot of digital spending happening because people want to be more efficient,” Gupshup’s chief product officer Gaurav Kachhawa said in the interview.

Average client spend increased by about 10% in the past year, much of it driven by artificial intelligence, he said. “As companies across industries and geographies added more business verticals, cut down on physical stores, and increased their budgets for digital channels, we saw a lot more demand for our tools,” Kachhawa added.

As a result, the company saw its revenue grow 43% to 1,619 crore and profit grow 22.5% to 49 crore in FY23. However, expenses also rose by about 44% to 1,562 crore as it invested in new capabilities.

Last week it launched a conversation cloud with a suite of tools designed for AI-backed B2C conversations. The feature contains three elements – converse, advertise and communicate – to help clients crystalise customer interaction, acquire a larger user base by leveraging ‘Click to WhatsApp’ and Instagram ads, and maximise open-message rates, the company said.

Gupshup said it was also seeing gains from the acquisitions it has made. In 2022, Gupshup acquired five companies in four months to solidify its stack of software services and integrate AI into its offerings as “every company now wants an AI system for which they need help from enablers like us,” Kachhawa said.

Gupshup, which has been profitable for two successive financial years, has also been in talks to list on the public market for some time. In 2022, the company was looking to raise a pre-IPO funding round and list by the end of the year, but deferred its plans owing to weak market conditions, according to a report by Deal Street Asia.

However, Kachhawa said the company would evaluate a listing in India or the US in the next 12-18 months. He added that it has already been acting like a public company internally in terms of delivering on key performance indicators, but going public is a function of how the markets are performing.

The company aims to further expand its presence in international markets. It currently receives about 20% of its revenue from outside of India and is looking to increase this to at least 50% as a part of a multi-year strategy.

Founded by Beerud Sheth in 2004 as an SMS network in India, the company also operates in the US, Europe, Latin America, Africa, Middle East and Southeast Asia. It claims to have more than 75,000 customers across industries such as retail, gaming, food & beverage, healthcare, advertising and BFSI.

California-based Gupshup helps brands interact with customers across media such as voice, SMS, email and WhatsApp. Companies that use its services include Swiggy, Marks & Spencer and HDFC Bank. Earlier, its offerings were limited to group SMS, but as digitisation increased, so did its bouquet of services.

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Published: 11 Mar 2024, 01:17 PM IST

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