Hong Kong customer and sales engagement tool WATI (WhatsApp Team Inbox) has on Wednesday announced a $23 million series B funding round to scale the team and product and reach more businesses globally.

WATI said in a statement the funding round was led by Tiger Global with participation from existing investors Sequoia Capital India & Southeast Asia, as well as new investors DST Global Partners and Shopify.

This marks Shopify’s first venture investment in a startup operating in the Southeast Asia region.

This series B comes hot on the heels of a $8.3 million series A round 10 months ago; in total, WATI has raised over $35 million since 2020.

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.

The firm plans aggressive go-to-market plans in emerging markets, such as Latin America and Southeast Asia.

Founded in 2020, WATI helps companies have personalised conversations with customers at scale with an easy-to-use customer engagement software that’s built on WhatApp’s Business API.

The firm enables companies to have scalable, yet personalised, conversations with an easy-to-use customer engagement software that is built on WhatsApp’s Business API.

Its vision is to help businesses meet their customers where they are – on messaging platforms – so they are always accessible, personalised, and can engage in real time

Through the WATI platform, small and midsize businesses (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.

“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,” said Bianca Ho, Co-Founder at WATI.

“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,” he added.

This year, WATI has grown its remote-first team by 50 percent, attracting leaders from Twitter and Freshworks.

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 customer relationship managements (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.

“The business messaging market has grown enormously. Meta estimates that around a billion people per week communicate with a business or service account across WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram,” said WATI Co-Founder Ken Yeung.

“This insight is critical for what’s happening now and what’s coming ahead. About 40% of Meta’s advertisers globally – over 4 million businesses – use click-to-message ads, which redirect people from Facebook or Instagram into one of Meta’s messaging products to chat with a business. WATI is well placed to service this demand and beyond,” he added.

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