WhatsApp is utilized by greater than two billion all over the world, and is a vital device for a lot of small companies. However as they scale up, even WhatsApp for Enterprise may not be capable of sustain with their wants. That’s the place WATI (WhatsApp Workforce Inbox) steps in. Constructed on WhatsApp for Enterprise’ API, WATI has buyer gross sales and engagement instruments created for the messaging app. At present the Hong Kong and Malaysia-headquartered startup introduced it has raised $23 billion in Sequence B funding to scale its group and product.
The spherical was led by Tiger International with participation from returning traders Sequoia Capital India & Southeast Asia, and new traders DST International Companions and Shopify (marking the e-commerce platform’s first enterprise funding in a startup working within the Southeast Asia area). WATI’s final spherical of funding was an $8.3 million Sequence A introduced 10 months in the past, and its new spherical brings its complete raised to greater than $35 million since 2020.
WATI founders Bianco Ho and Ken Yeung started working collectively in 2016, constructing Clare.AI, an omnichannel AI digital assistant for big Asia enterprises. In 2020, they launched WATI to present SMBs a self-service, low-code product on the WhatsApp for Enterprise API. The startup at the moment has greater than 6,000 prospects in 75 nations, together with SMBs in areas like home cleansing, faculties, schooling facilities, edtech, fintech, medical amenities, D2C manufacturers and Shopify shops.
Ho informed TechCrunch that whereas she and Yeung have been engaged on Clare.AI, “our assumption was that solely bigger enterprises had the assets to deploy a profitable digital assistant with synthetic intelligence.” After just a few years of working with their purchasers, nonetheless, the 2 realized many have been searching for a less complicated resolution, so WATI was created. A part of the rationale for its launch was the digital acceleration attributable to the pandemic, as many companies rushed to get on-line.
In lots of rising markets, and mature markets like Europe, WhatsApp is the popular communication channel between prospects and companies. WATI helps non-technical companies scale their buyer help, buyer engagement and acquisition by means of its CRM.
WATI’s buyer engagement software program is constructed on WhatsApp for Enterprise’ API and lets purchasers ship personalised notifications. The platform features a collaborative group inbox utilized by a number of brokers, and options like good routing, canned responses, information tagging and analytics. Interactions may be automated by means of low-code workflows and chatbots, and linked to e-commerce platforms and CRMs. WATI additionally has integrations with platforms like Zoho, Shopify and Google Sheets.
An instance of how WATI is used is a big e-commerce firm that depends on its to handle campaigns like Prime Day. The corporate normally will get 60 to 100 messages a day from prospects by means of WATI’s group inbox, nearly all of which come from its web site’s WhatsApp chat, and sends about 30,000 messages day-after-day when campaigns are energetic.
One other instance is an edtech shopper that has used WATI for nearly two years. They depend on about 50 templates a month for lead era, nurturing, cost reminders and sophistication updates, and ship 20,000 to 30,000 messages a day. WATI additionally helps them get high-quality natural leads by means of a WhatsApp widget on their web site.
Ho stated WATI’s closest competitor is the native WhatsApp for Enterprise app, which most SMBs begin off utilizing, however WATI is an appropriate match for them as their companies scale.
Funding shall be used on hiring and investing in WATI’s product stack for low-code automation. The corporate additionally has go-to-market plans for rising markets, like Latin America and Southeast Asia