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Chatbot Startup Gupshup Raises $240 Million for Growth Push

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(Bloomberg) -- Messaging bots developer Gupshup raised $240 million in fresh funding, the second cash injection within a few months as the startup accelerates its expansion.

Fidelity Management & Research, Tiger Global and Think Investments participated as investors, the company said Wednesday in a statement. The fundraising follows a $100 million round in April -- the first in a decade -- that valued the company at $1.4 billion.

Gupshup helps companies from Facebook Inc. and Amazon.com Inc. to Citigroup Inc. and HSBC Holdings Plc develop customer-relations chatbots on websites or services like WhatsApp. The company will use the funds to expand engineering and product innovation teams, grow sales internationally and make acquisitions, co-founder Beerud Sheth said in an interview.

The fundraising is the latest major investment into a startup with Indian origins after pandemic lockdowns accelerated the nation’s mobile and internet boom. The country had a record $6.3 billion of funding and deals for technology startups in the second quarter, while food-delivery giant Zomato this month became the first of India’s internet unicorns to tap local capital markets with its $1.3 billion initial public offering.

Gupshup, which got its start in text messaging, targets growth of more than 60% in annual subscription revenue this year from $150 million in 2020, Sheth said. “Messaging is a $50 billion industry and conversational messaging, which is newer and accelerating, adds a further $25 billion,” he said.

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