SoftBank Backs Cloud Startup Founded by Two Huawei Engineers
(Bloomberg) -- Digital adoption solutions provider Whatfix has raised $90 million in a round led by SoftBank Vision Fund II, a sign of the rocketing investor interest in startups selling enterprise software via subscriptions.
Sequoia Capital India, Dragoneer Investment Group, Cisco Investments and others also participated in the Series D funding, the startup said in an announcement on Tuesday. It will use the funds to accelerate growth in its main market, the U.S., as well as expand globally in geographies such as Asia Pacific and Europe. It will also build artificial intelligence technologies for customization.
The startup, also known as Quicko Technosoft Labs Pvt Ltd., has raised nearly $140 million so far and tripled its valuation from its Series C round last year. It’s now valued at about $600 million, according to Khadim Batti, Whatfix’s co-founder and chief executive officer.
Whatfix was co-founded in 2014 by Batti and Vara Kumar, two engineers formerly with Huawei Technologies India, the Chinese telecom giant’s R&D center in the South Asian country. The company, which has major offices in Bangalore and San Jose, California-headquartered helps businesses boost employee adoption of software-as-a-service, or SaaS, applications that perform functions from sales to customer relationship management.
“A typical enterprise averages at least 300 SaaS applications and Whatfix helps accelerate adoption,” Batti said in a telephone interview. “Our product overlays applications and helps companies integrate various software products into their operations by providing contextual interactive prompts, visual cues and walk-throughs to guide users.”
Demand for digital adoption solutions across enterprises has been further boosted as the Covid-19 outbreak changed work environments. “Everything has gone remote since the pandemic -- workforces are hybrid, and sales and customer support, training have all gone digital,” Batti said.
The Whatfix funding marks SoftBank Group Corp.’s second investment in India’s SaaS startups in recent months after having participated in MindTickle’s $100 million round. Digital adoption solutions of SaaS providers enhance growth and productivity for enterprises globally and “Whatfix makes it easier for companies to use SaaS products,” Munish Varma, managing partner at SoftBank Investment Advisers, said in the statement.
In the past 24 months, Whatfix has tripled revenue and headcount and started operations in the U.K., Germany and Australia. according to the statement. It counts Experian Plc and Bausch & Lomb Inc. among its global portfolio of 500 clients.
“Many SaaS startups are born in India but make a natural progression to the U.S. which is the largest market,” said Batti. Software delivered on the cloud has leveled the playing field and “fueled the global ambitions of founders from Day 1,” he said.
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