WATI.io (WhatsApp Team Inbox), a comprehensive WhatsApp customer engagement tool for small businesses, has raised $8.3m in Series A led by Sequoia Capital India with participation from Surge, Base Partners and several prominent angels including Gokul Rajaram, a member of the DoorDash executive team. WATI.io has more than 3,000 customers across 54 countries including India, Indonesia and Brazil.
Over the last 6 months, WATI’s customer base has seen a 4x growth, revenue has grown 5x and 100 million messages have been processed. They are now a 41 member team across seven countries. With this fundraise, they have raised a total of $10M in the last six months. The funds raised will be used to bolster technology and product development by expanding product integrations. It will also be used to double the team size and improve their presence in Latin America.
Messaging is the most pervasive way humans connect today. COVID-19 has shifted our lives online. Customers expect brands to serve them on channels they are most comfortable with. So, when customers are able to reach out to brands on platforms like WhatsApp that they are already familiar with, it builds a higher level of trust for the brand. While many solutions for enterprises to achieve this shift exist, tens of millions of SMBs globally are left underserved. To meet customer expectations, SMBs resort to using WhatsApp on their personal phones. This leads to bottlenecks with relevance of the support and the inability to scale.
WATI.io, launched by Ken Yeung and Bianca Ho in late 2020, addresses this gap. Built on WhatsApp’s API, it helps small businesses personalise conversations with customers at scale. WATI.io helps customer support, marketing and sales teams engage with customers using a single WhatsApp number. Since brands are able to get a holistic view of customer conversations across teams, they are also able to provide a better user experience. WATI.io solely focuses on building tailored experiences on WhatsApp enabling them to quickly iterate on new features on the platform as well.
“WATI’s mission is to help businesses do more with less. Our one-click integration with the most commonly used tools like Shopify, WooCommerce, etc. enables businesses to provide holistic customer experience at scale. We look to use this funding to attract world class talent to help us build this.” Ken Yeung, CEO
Businesses love WATI.io because it helps improve customer satisfaction without additional workforce and in turn helps improve revenue. This is possible with automation through WATI’s low-code workflow builder without being dependent on developers. Through WATI’s API, SMBs can send programmatic personalised notifications from their system.
Especially in the case of ecommerce businesses, WATI’s one-click integrations with tools like Shopify, reduces abandoned cart rate and helps increase revenues. Marketers also rely heavily on sending targeted notifications to drive sales. High growth startups are able to derive value with WATI’s suite of tools which empower them to collaborate and move fast. In addition to thousands of SMBs, WATI’s clients include Dukaan, Oppo, VU TV, Gojek, Grab, Aerostreet.
“WATI is on a mission to help hundreds of millions of SMBs across the world communicate more effectively with their customers on one of the most ubiquitous messaging platforms – WhatsApp. They’ve achieved terrific growth rates this past year while breaking even but what is more exciting is the expansive set of product possibilities in front of the company as they capitalise on the market opportunity. Sequoia Capital India is excited to deepen the partnership with Ken and Bianca in the next stage of their journey of building WATI.” Abheek Anand, MD, Sequoia India