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Shopify invests in WhatsApp customer engagement platform WATI

Shopify invests in WhatsApp customer engagement platform WATI

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Customer and sales engagement company WATI (which stands for ‘WhatsApp Team Inbox’) has brought on board Shopify as an investor.  This marks Shopify’s first venture investment in a startup operating in the Southeast Asia region. The news comes as WATI announces a US$23m series B funding round to scale the team and product and reach more businesses globally. The funding round was led by Tiger Global with participation from existing investors Sequoia Capital India and Southeast Asia, as well as new investors DST Global Partners and Shopify.

This series B comes hot on the heels of a US$8.3m series A round 10 months ago; in total, WATI has raised over US$35M since 2020. WATI enables companies to have scalable, yet personalised, conversations with an easy-to-use customer engagement software that is built on WhatsApp’s Business API. With additional funding, WATI will continually scale the team and invest in the product stack for low-code automation encouraging wider adoption of digital tools. WATI plans aggressive go-to-market plans in emerging markets, such as Latin America and Southeast Asia.

In February this year, former Southeast Asia managing director of Twitter, Arvinder Gujral took up the role of global head of customers at WATI. Gujral, who has over 20 years of experience, was also previously with Aircel, prior to his time at Twitter. He held the role of head of digital and innovation when Aircel was seen as a challenger brand in the Indian telecom market. He has also spent time working at a mobile app start-up in California.

Bianca Ho, co-Founder at WATI said: “It’s been an exciting 2022 at WATI culminating with this new funding round. We doubled down on our product with more automations, making it a seamless digital tool and must-have for any business. We went vertical in our approach and created integrations and partnerships with Zoho, Shopify, Google Sheets among others to really help scale growth and sharpen the product. The team has grown, revenue and customer numbers have doubled and now we look to scale the business, operations, teams around the world.”

Through the WATI platform, SMBs can send personalised notifications from their system in a programmatic way through WATI’s API. They can also support their customers through a collaborative team inbox with multiple agents, smart routing, canned responses, data tagging, and analytics. Many of these interactions can be automated through low-code workflow builders and chatbots. 

This year, WATI has grown its remote-first team by 50%. The company said that revenues and customer growth have doubled in the past 12 months as users find ROI in both time saved and increased revenue from automated workflows connected to eCommerce platforms and CRMs. WATI has over 6000 customers across 78 countries including SMBs providing domestic house cleaning services to schools, tutorial centres, medical institutions and ecommerce, Shopify stores and many more. 

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Shopify makes cuts to Singapore staff
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