WATI, a Hong Kong-based comprehensive WhatsApp customer engagement tool for small businesses, has raised $8.3 million in Series A funding led by Sequoia Capital India.

Surge, Base Partners and several prominent angels including Gokul Rajaram, a member of the DoorDash executive team and and board member at Coinbase and Pinterest, also participated in the round.

With this fundraise, WATI has raised a total of $10 million in the last six months.

The funds raised will be used to bolster technology and product development by expanding product integrations, WATI said in a statement.

It will also be used to double the team size and improve their presence in Latin America, it added.

“WATI’s mission is to help businesses do more with less. Our one-click integration with the most commonly used tools like Shopify, WooCommerce, etc. enables businesses to provide holistic customer experience at scale. We look to use this funding to attract world class talent to help us build this.” said Ken Yeung, Chief Executive Officer of WATI.

Meanwhile, Sequoia India Managing Director Abheek Anand said WATI is on a mission to help hundreds of millions of SMBs across the world communicate more effectively with their customers on one of the most ubiquitous messaging platforms – WhatsApp.

“They’ve achieved terrific growth rates this past year while breaking even, but what is more exciting is the expansive set of product possibilities in front of the company as they capitalise on the market opportunity. Sequoia Capital India is excited to deepen the partnership with Ken and Bianca in the next stage of their journey of building WATI,” he said.

Launched by Ken Yeung and Bianca Ho in late 2020, WATI built on WhatsApp’s API to help small businesses personalize conversations with customers at scale. It helps customer support, marketing and sales teams engage with customers using a single WhatsApp number. Since brands are able to get a holistic view of customer conversations across teams, they are also able to provide a better user experience. WATI solely focuses on building tailored experiences on WhatsApp enabling them to quickly iterate on new features on the platform as well.

WATI has been an official partner of WhatsApp since 2019, and was part of Surge 05, Sequoia India’s rapid scale up program for early stage startups.

According to the statement, WATI has over 3,000 customers across 54 countries including India, Indonesia and Brazil.

Over the last 6 months, the startup’s customer base has seen a 4 times growth, revenue has grown 5 times and 100 million messages have been processed. They are now a 41 member team across seven countries.

WATI helps improve customer satisfaction without additional workforce and in turn helps improve revenue. This is possible with automation through WATI’s low-code workflow builder without being dependent on developers. Through WATI’s API, Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) can send programmatic personalised notifications from their system.

Especially in the case of ecommerce businesses, WATI’s one-click integrations with tools like Shopify, reduces abandoned cart rate and helps increase revenues. Marketers also rely heavily on sending targeted notifications to drive sales. High growth startups are able to derive value with WATI’s suite of tools which empower them to collaborate and move fast. In addition to thousands of SMBs, WATI’s clients include Dukaan, Oppo, VU TV, Gojek, Grab, Aerostreet.

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