A cloud communication #startup, multilingual social network, microlender, and more make our list of funded startups.
Cloud communication startup Knowlarity Communications has bagged US$20 million in a series C round of funding. Delta Partners, a Dubai-based private equity firm, led the round, with participation from existing investors Sequoia Capital India and Mayfield Fund.
The investment, which will go toward international expansion in Southeast Asia and west Asia, includes an undisclosed amount of venture debt provided by Blacksoil and Trifecta Capital. The funds will also be used to launch new analytics and artificial intelligence products for small businesses.
Founded by Ambarish Gupta, Knowlarity offers small and medium enterprises communication tools including a virtual contact center, a click-to-call feature for mobile apps, and automated text and voice messages.
The company shifted its headquarters to Singapore in 2013, and one of its 15 offices is in Gurgaon.
The dominant language of India differs from state to state – and that’s not including smaller dialects. Bangalore-based social networking app ShareChat wants to help people chat in all of them. It’s just raised US$4 million in series A funding from Lightspeed Venture Partners to help do so.
Existing investors Saif Partners and India Quotient also participated in the round, which closed a week ago. Venture Highway, advised by WhatsApp business head Neeraj Arora, also made a minority contribution.
Co-founded by Farid Ahsan, Bhanu Singh, and Ankush Sachdeva, ShareChat was originally designed as a content sharing tool for WhatsApp, then reimagined into a social network. The co-founders launched the app in October last year.
Available in six Indian languages – Hindi, Marathi, Malayalam, Telugu, Punjabi, and Oriya – ShareChat is testing two more – Tamil and Bengali – for launch soon. It’s also planning to launch services in Indian dialects, like Bhojpuri and Haryanvi.
ShareChat has 2 million active users, who can find information including horoscopes, entertainment, news, jokes, videos, and memes on the network.
Aye Finance offers loans to micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) that may encounter trouble when trying to obtain bank backing. The company will use the funds to expand into western and southern India, and build up its cloud-based technology, which assesses risk potential for MSMEs.
Founded in 2013 by former Ujjivan Financial Services executives Sanjay Sharma and Vikram Jetley, the startup currently has 33 branches in north India and two in the south.
Edtech startup VoLT (Vocabulary Learning Technique) has secured an undisclosed amount of seed funding from tech-based distribution company YUM Mobitech.
The startup, a product of Edutainment Spearheads, uses an Android app and mnemonic devices to increase vocabulary retention.
The app’s audience are people who run web searches for word meanings every day as well as those studying for competitive exams with vocabulary components, like the CAT and GRE, VoLT founder Abhishek Jain said in a statement. The startup’s offline products, including books and games, will launch at the end of December.
Predictive sales analytics software startup Vymo has bagged US$5 million in series A funding from Sequoia India. The money will go toward deepening its research and development, as well as a push toward international markets, particularly the Middle East and Asia Pacific.
The startup uses input from over 25,000 sales representatives to map skills and offer recommendations in real time, which takes effort off the backs of the salesperson, said co-founder and CEO Yamini Bhat in a statement. Vymo predicts user behavior, then suggests a plan of action. The aim is to increase productivity in sales.
“We use signals and context like location, phone calls, calendar, source of the lead, time of the day and so on, to understand the most important actions the sales reps need to take, and help them prioritize,” said Vymo co-founder and CTO Venkat Malladi. “We also learn from the actions they are taking and correlate them to their success.”
The enterprise sales assistant company currently has over 25 customers, including HDFC, SBI Life, and Axa.
Mobile customer support software Helpshift has added Cisco Investments to its series B funding round. Cisco Investments joins investors including Intel Capital, Microsoft Ventures, and Salesforce Ventures.
The addition will help Helpshift expand its in-app features using Cisco’s contact centers.
“Apps have become the primary way in which consumers and employees in the enterprise are accessing products and services,” said Helpshift CEO and co-founder Abinash Tripathy. “Just like customer service moved away from phone (voice) to email in the era of the web, we are now seeing a transition where customer service is moving inside apps to eliminate all the friction in the process of supporting users.
Helpshift support includes in-app frequently asked questions, campaigns, and surveys, as well as a customer relationship management ticketing system. Its customers include Zynga, Virgin Media, Microsoft, Western Union, Flipboard, and WordPress. It serves over 400 million customers monthly.
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