Gupshup's co-founder and CEO Beerud Sheth

Story of Gupshup – The Future of Conversational Messaging

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It is common expectation of customers that the brands should be available 24/7 to provide instant responses to their queries and resolve them in a satisfactory manner. This resulted in the invention of chatbots by the mid-1990s. During 2016, when traditional messaging started failing to live up to their expectations, the world was disappointed. Developers and marketers started working on reimagining the conversational solutions for enterprise businesses, resulting in the creation of conversational apps.

The clumsy text-based systems are now being replaced with conversational messaging, which are personal, one-on-one conversations that take place on any messaging channel between a customer and a business.

Gupshup, an Indian startup, helps businesses engage better with their customers across multiple channels through conversational messaging.

Beerud Sheth was the co-founder and CEO of the popular freelancing platform Elance (now Upwork) in 1998. He went on to co-found Gupshup, a cloud messaging platform that has seen its share of twists and turns in the messaging and communications space since 2004. Rakesh Mathur is the co-founder and Chairman of the company. Gupshup has experimented with several business models in the messaging segment since then, starting with a consumer-focused group text messaging service, followed by an instant messaging app, and later pivoted to an enterprise messaging business. Gupshup’s current suite of solutions includes messaging APIs, a bot platform, bot building tools, a scripting engine, an omnichannel inbox, and conversational experiences among others.

Enterprises and businesses like banks, retailers, ecommerce companies, etc. need to communicate with their customers either to comply with the regulations or due to customer expectations. When they connect with Gupshup, the company provides a single cloud-hosted API and when these businesses send a message, the startup delivers their message to the device.

The traditional method messaging through SMS has been replaced by channels like Whatsapp. Gupshup is innovating IP messaging, which is a new channel with provisions for adding cards, buttons, and rich media to the messages. This is transforming the way businesses and consumers talk to each other. The company noticed very few people actually modify their default messaging apps, so it has already made provisions for adding rich messages on their apps for android devices. With the GIP conversational messaging, customers don’t have to download new apps and yet can easily chat with their favorite brands. It is also leveraging services like chat widgets that users can click through from the SMS. Gupshup automatically translates the template according to the user’s device and deliver the message in the best possible way.

Gupshup has been recognized as one of the Best Artificial Intelligence Enterprise Chatbots in 2021. The startup is among the top cloud messaging platforms in the world with revenue upwards of Rs. 600 crore and has over 39,000 businesses including Ola, Flipkart, Zomato, HDFC, Google, Paytm. It processes over 4.5 billion messages a month and recently expanded their services to South-East Asia, Middle East, and Europe.

Gupshup has recently raised $100 million from Tiger Global, pushing the company’s valuation to $1.4 billion. This makes Gupshup the tenth startup to enter the country’s unicorn club in 2021. The startup plans to use the new capital to scale its product suite and go-to-market initiatives across the world.

“Gupshup is already a profitable company and this capital just allows us to take a few more risks to invest ahead of the curve, which means we can have a ready solution even if the market is not ready and evangelise. It also enables us to do some selective acquisitions in adjacent areas.”

– Beerud Sheth, Co-Founder and CEO

According to Beerud, IP messaging and chatbots are paving the way for personalized marketing strategies, and IP messaging must go beyond sales and become integral in the customer’s decision to choose a product or service.

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