Funding Alert: Exotel announced a new funding round

Let us talk about funding. For that, first of all, we need to know what is the process of funding? Funding refers to the process of pouring in the money and the cash in order to start and run a business. It is a sort of financial investment in a company that can be used for various purposes like- product development, manufacturing, expansion, sales, and marketing, office space, and inventory.

Many of the businesses do not go for funding from third parties and go for funding by the founders only, in order to prevent debt and equity dilution. But the majority of the startups do raise funding especially at the time when they grow larger and scale their operations. 

Now, let us discuss the stages of startups and the sources of funding.

Step 1- Ideation– It is the idea stage of the startup, where an entrepreneur is bringing an idea to life. The amount of funding required at this stage is usually small, and there are informal ways of raising money during this time.
The options available at this time are- Bootstrapping, which is self-financing, Friends and Family, Pitching events.

Step 2- Validation– This is the stage where the prototype is ready and validation needs to be done of the potential demand of the product or the service of the startup. This step comes before the big market launch of the startup.
The options available at this time are- Incubators, Angel Investors, Crowd Funding, Government Loan Schemes.

Step 3- Early Traction– In this stage, the products and the services of the startup have been launched in the market and key performance indicators like customer base, revenue, app downloads are important.
The options available at this time are- Venture Capital Funds, Venture Debt Funds, Banks, Non-Banking Financial Companies

Step 4- Scaling– This is the stage of the fast rate of market growth and increasing revenues.
The options available at this time are-Venture Capital Funds, Private Equity, and Investment Firms.  This is the time when different series of funding, like Series B, Series C, Series D take place.

Step 5- Exit Options– This is the stage when startups want to exit the market.
The options available at this time are- mergers and Acquisitions, Initial Public Offerings, Selling Shares, Buybacks.

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Some of the key features of the startup which investors look into before investing are-
a) Objective and Problem Solving
b) Management and Team
c) Market Landscape
d) Scalability and Sustainability
e) Customers and Suppliers
f) Competitive Analysis
g) Sales and Marketing
h) Financial Assessment
i) Exit Avenues 

Funding of Exotel Techcom Private Ltd. 

The startup Exotel Techcom Private Ltd. has raised funds worth USD 35 million, as announced on September 29, 2021. This round of funding was the Series C round of funding from various investors like- IIFL AMC, Sistema Asia Fund, CX Partners, Singularity Growth, and Opportunities Fund. This round of funding also saw the entry of the former CEO of Vodafone, Arun Sarin, as the angel investor and the mentor. Existing investors Blume Ventures and A91 Partners also took part in this round of funding. The investment bank of Bengaluru, IndigoEdge, was the exclusive banker for the whole transaction

The startup plans to utilize the funds raised to boost the product offered by the startup.

exotel cloud telephony - powering a billion conversations - youtube 

About the newly funded startup

Exotel is one of the largest could telephony companies in Southeast Asia. The aim of the startup is to help large businesses streamline and bring efficiency to their voice communication. The startup is engaged in taking away some of the biggest points of traditional systems like EPABX and PBX and allow businesses to use world-class APIs to build a reliable communication system. 

The Bengaluru-based startup builds in best-in-class communication products that power the companies of today and tomorrow. The values which the startup follows are-
Commitment– An individual needs to be committed to the team, manager, and the customers
Stay True- The startup asks the team members to do the right thing even when no one is around and watching
Trust sings both ways– The employees are explained and taught to trust others to do their jobs and making sure that the employees do their even
Find your doosra– The startup asks the employees to nurture innovative ideas regardless of the outcome
Settle for excellence– The startup teaches the employees to aim for a balance between “perfect” and “done”

The history of the 2011 founded startup is as follows- 
In March 2012, the startup raised USD 500,000 funding from Mumbai Angels and Blume Ventures
By June 2013, the annual revenue of the startup has crossed INR 10 million, where it had served more than 350 clients
In February 2015, Exotel acquired, which is a social media startup. This was done to strengthen the line of products in the voice of Exotel.
In March 2016, a research division was set up by the startup, called Exotel Labs. This was done to increase the innovation in voice space
In 2016, the revenue reported by the startup was INR 450,000,000. 

exotel api's at your service to customize your phone system

The startup, Exotel, has recently announced its merger with Ameyo. Both enterprises together will focus on building a full-stack customer engagement platform in the emerging markets to increase and accelerate the communication to the cloud. They will also provide AI with the capabilities of conversation so that the customer experience can be improved.  

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The startup currently handles more than 5 million calls every day and has more than 18,000 companies registered on its site and has over 45,000 users. The largest competitor to the startup in the year 2014 was Textmagic, Textlocal and In the year 2018, it was Tecoser. The startup is currently growing on a 70% year-on-year basis. The startup is planning to reach an ARR of USD 200 million in the next 5 years and is planning to increase the headcount by more than 200 in the coming year. 

About the leadership team of the startup 

The startup, Exotel, was founded by Shivakumar Ganesan. He is also the CEO of the startup. Before this, the other venture of Shivakumar Ganesan was Roopit, which needed a simple automated call center solution, for which an in-house product was built. It then became a standalone company in the form of Exotel. The COO of the startup is Ishwar, Chief Revenue Officer is Karthikeyan Krishnamurthy, and the Chief Product Officer is Sanjeeth Kumar. 

exotel raises $35 million in series c funding

What has been said about the deal?

Shivakumar Ganesan, who is the founder and the CEO of the startup made a statement saying that the desire of the startup is to enable enterprises with the best in customer engagement. He further said that they are building a cloud-based full-stack engagement suite which will be the first of its kind, by bringing in the capabilities of Ameyo. He said that the platform will give an easy way for businesses to communicate with customers over voice, chat, SMS, Whatsapp, and video, without the context being loosen. 

Sumit Jain, who is a Senior Partner at Sistema Asia Fund, said that CPaaS is a USD 6 billion market in India and one of the fastest-growing technology areas in the country. He further appreciated Exotel by saying that it has emerged as the CPaaS platform of choice in India, through a comprehensive product suite and market best reliability. He further expressed his happiness in partnering with the startup and expects that the startup will become a global name in the coming years. 

Chief Executive Officer at Ameyo, Sachin Bhatia, remarked that this is the right step that gives the startup an opportunity to invest further in order to bring uninterrupted customer engagement on the cloud to upcoming geographies. When customer data and conversational AI capabilities come together, it will result in enterprises monitoring conversations, building smarter bots, and assisting the customer service teams in real time.

The startup is really doing good and we wish it nothing but good luck and a bright future.


Edited by Sanjana Simlai.

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