leadsquared: SaaS company LeadSquared enters the unicorn club with $153 million in funding
The funding values the company at $1 billion, founder and CEO Nilesh Patel told ET, making it the latest software-as-a-service (SaaS) company to join the unicorn club.
ET first reported on April 12 that the SaaS company was in talks with WestBridge Capital for a new round of funding at a unicorn valuation.
Unicorns are private startups with a valuation of $1 billion or more. India has about 15 SaaS unicorns, including Fractal Analytics, Uniphore, DarwinBox, Amagi Media Labs, and Hasura joined the club this year. Last year, four SaaS startups entered the unicorn club amid a funding frenzy.
Founded in 2011 by Patel, Prashant Singh and Sudhakar Gorti, the Bengaluru and Silicon Valley-based startup provides businesses with sales and marketing automation software, including helping them manage and analyze leads. More than 1,000 companies use its platform, including Byju’s, Dunzo, Kotak Securities, Vedantu, Acko and Practo.
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“In India we plan to double our revenue and in North America we are expanding our team and preparing for a high growth scenario,” Patel told ET.
LeadSquared recorded revenue of Rs 200 crore in March 2022. The platform recently set up a team in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region and has a small presence in Africa.
“We have hired people in South Africa and will continue to expand into Middle East/North Africa (MENA) countries. We are making progress there. Product-wise, India and the United States will be our primary focus,” Patel added.
The new fundraising comes after the company raised a funding round with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) last October to fuel its expansion into international geographies. It also raised $32 million in a round led by Gaja Capital in December 2020, which saw participation from existing investors Skateboat Capital and serial entrepreneur, Jyoti Bansal.
“India is an underserved country in terms of software penetration and there are huge opportunities. There might be some market hiccups but they will be short term,” Patel said.
In India, LeadSquared also competes with other sales and marketing automation players such as WebEngage and Clevertap.
“We will buy or acquire assets over the next few quarters in India and North America. We are looking for companies that will help us in segments such as sales training, performance, customer experience and more,” Patel said.
According to data from research platform Venture Intelligence, SaaS companies raised $2 billion in the first quarter of 2022 through 93 deals. By comparison, Indian software startups raised $4.5 billion in 2021 and $2.6 billion in 2020.
“The valuation changes over time, but right now our focus is on building strong businesses…times are tough, but our financial discipline in terms of cash burn, customer acquisition costs and recovery period is solid,” Patel said.
The deal comes at a time when investors are taking a wait-and-see approach.
“LeadSquared’s focus on building an easy-to-use platform that transforms sales processes through automation has significant growth potential in the global market,” said Sumir Chadha, co-founder and director. CEO of WestBridge Capital.