Chennai-based Freshdesk has announced acquisition of Airwoot -a social customer service startup for an undisclosed amount, marking its 5th acquisition in the last 12 months and 2nd in 2016.
Airwoot, a Delhi-based startup uses machine learning to help brands deliver high-speed customer service on social media. After acquisition, Airwoot’s seven-member team will join Freshdesk in Chennai.
Founded in 2012 by a team of PhD dropouts – Saurabh Arora, Prabhat Saraswat and Achal Aggarwal, Airwoot had raised investment from Kae Capital in 2013. It was part of the eighth batch of The Morpheus accelerator.
It is essentially an intelligent customer experience platform which uses natural language processing and machine learning to automatically identify customers who need engagement and help brands reduce response time.
Airwoot claims to have over 70,000 customers globally, including prominent startups such as Zoomcar, Paytm, Snapdeal, MobiKwik, Xiaomi, Goibibo, Ola, MakeMyTrip, Fresh Menu, Cleartrip and Grofers.
It claims that its interface helped brands to respond to 98% of their Twitter mentions and messages in just under 2 minutes. Its dashboard lets its clients sift through relevant social media mentions instead of engaging with all.
“This acquisition is in line with our pursuit to bring innovative solutions to the market,” said Girish Mathrubootham, founder, Freshdesk.
Backed with funding of $94 million through multiple rounds of funding, Freshdesk has been on an acquisition spree since August 2015. “We had no grand plans to acquire companies or spend allocation,” said Mathrubootham. “All our buyouts to date are people who were addressing some part of the customer support problem and more importantly, matched the culture fit of Freshdesk,” he added.
The first addition came in August 2015 when Freshdesk achieved a customer base of 50,000 customers with acquisition of 1CLICK.io which provided a live video conferencing and co-browsing platform. Then, it acquired Frilp, which had raised $500,000 from angel investors in 2014 and were in search for a fresh round when Mathrubootham took them in.
By the end of 2015, VC funds were drying up especially for growth stage startups and Konotor, a mobile first user engagement platform had hit a dead end with raising a fresh round of funds when he approached Mathrubootham for advice. “We were looking at building a smart mobile team within Freshdesk at the time. When I met the Konotor team, I knew I would need 9-12 months to catch up if I had to build the same expertise in house. So I made them an offer,” he said.