Philadelphia and Bangalore-based Verloop, a customer support and engagement automation platform, has announced the closing of a $3 million in Series A round of funding led by IDFC Parampara Fund, an early stage startup fund jointly established by IDFC group and venture capital firm Parampara Capital.
The round also saw the participation from Kris Gopalakrishnan – Infosys Co-founder and Dr Ranjan Pai – Chairman of the Manipal Education and Medical Group (MEMG).
Earlier in November 2016, Verloop had raised undisclosed amount in seed funding from Growth Story, Anand Chandrasekaran, Mohandas Pai and Suresh Vaswani – President of Dell Services, and Kris Gopalakrishnan.
The startup will use the capital raised in enhancing its customer engagement platform as the startup expands its team and scales operations to address the global market for automated customer services and marketing that MetricNet estimates is valued at US$19 billion annually.
Founded in 2016 by Gaurav Singh, Verloop claims to be the world’s smartest conversational marketing and sales platform, which is powered by its own machine learning algorithms developed in-house especially the algorithms in NLP, NLU and pattern matching has. The platfor has Verloop bot and allows to automate FAQs, build automated flows, capture leads and schedule meetings 24×7.
“Our conversational automation platform already works with more than 5000 clients across eCommerce, Healthcare, Education, Entertainment & Lifestyle sectors across 37 countries,” said Gaurav Singh, the 28-year old Founder & CEO of Verloop.
“This investment is a striking endorsement from some of the savviest and most well-known names in start-up and tech ecosystem and comes at a time when we are continuing to hire top talent and build further traction for the business”, he said.
Prior to starting Verloop, Gaurav had earlier founded GoDeliver, an on-demand delivery startup, acquired by its larger competitor MagicTiger in July 2015. Prior to this, he has worked at Vizury, a growth marketing platform, now re-branded as Lemnisk.
Jatin Desai, General Partner at IDFC-Parampara, “People are seeking out a conversational experience with brands and Verloop helps organizations do this at scale. Over the last several months we’ve undertaken an intricate assessment of the Verloop platform, its architecture and the product roadmap. We were very impressed at the way the team has built Verloop and are delighted to partner with Gaurav and his team. The use-cases they’ve built are very interesting and there is great potential for the product to verticalize and mine the potential for automated customer engagement across industries, across countries and across languages.”
“There have been a few notable success stories of Saas-based ventures from India and we believe Verloop certainly has the credentials to emerge a leader in the Conversational AI market that is currently led by players such as Drift and Intercom, globally,” he added.
Kris Gopalakrishnan, Co-Founder, Infosys, said, “We are seeing a massive behavioural shift with people demanding personalized and conversational brand experiences. Large, growing organizations and celebrity brands will be hard pressed to meet this requirement profitably and at-scale as interactions run into multiple millions. This is where ML (machine learning) technology coupled with human ingenuity comes in and can help harvest the potential in these interactions. Verloop has built an easily scalable model to target a huge addressable market.”
More than 120 million unique conversations have been processed since Verloop launched operations in late 2016. Verloop use-cases span Marketing & Sales (Lead Gen qualification, conversational campaigns, upsell and cross-sell etc), Customer Support (automated helpdesk, personalized onboarding of customers etc) and Celebrity Brand Management (persona management, engaging with fans, pre- and post- launch etc).
Clients who have leveraged the Verloop platform include Nykaa, Qtrove, Pipa Bella, Portea, Apollo Munich Health Insurance, and Aadhaar Bridge. The Verloop platform has also been used by some of the biggest stars in Indian entertainment including Rajinikanth for his movie Kaala. Several other mainstream and niche celebrities, publication houses and entertainment magazines are utilising conversational automation to connect with fans and readers.
Verloop.io is a language-agnostic platform that already supports 7 Indian languages including Hindi, English, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Marathi, Bengali and Hinglish. In addition, the company has developed a new messaging protocol and a patent-pending technology for bot to human hand-off of conversations when it detects that the conversation can be better served by a human chat rep.
Verloop was part of the Y Combinator Startup School 2017 and has made numerous machine learning contributions to MIT Machine Learning libraries, Facebook ML libraries and other open source ML libraries. The Verloop team also delivered a presentation on mixed language (Hinglish) detection and understanding at a Bertelsmann conference in Hamburg.
IDFC-Parampara is Rs 100 crore corpus fund that was launched last year by IDFC Alternatives, the private equity arm of IDFC group, and venture capital firm Parampara Capital. The fund has so far made 4 investments including Verloop. The three other investsee startups are — Play Shifu (November 2017), Chakr Innovation (April 2018) and Entropik Technology (July 2018)