Gurgaon: Gurgaon-based cloud telephony-based solution provider Knowlarity has raised $6.6 million from Sequoia Capital. As part of the investment Mohit Bhatnagar, Managing Director, Sequoia Capital has joined Knowlarity’s board. The fund was advised by Merisis Capital Advisors. “The funds would be deployed into major buckets of R&D and Sales Operations. We would expand our tech team to focus more on product development which would help in scaling our platform. We have a roadmap to churn more products from our platform which would help automate key processes of enterprise businesses. With regards to the sales operations we plan to expand our sales force to reach a wider set of enterprise businesses across India. We plan to address the latent demand for our products in other developing countries by expanding to other international markets,” says Pallav Pandey, Co-founder and COO, Knowlarity.
Founded in 2009 by Ambarish Gupta and Pallav Pandey, Knowlarity has a vision to enable SMEs in India, with productivity telephony solutions. It has more than 100 employees.
“Products offered by us are filling an important gap in the domain of intelligent telephony solutions (Fax / PBX) that were not affordable for enterprise businesses before. Our products are scalable on demand and have lower set up times, which are an important consideration for SME,” adds Pandey. The company has built a sales model where they sell products in a cost efficient manner to SMEs. They feel that their competitive advantage lies in the fact that they are able to design the sales model keeping in mind the recurring nature of cloud business.
Prior to founding Knowlarity, Pandey founded Viplav Communications. He was also the ASIC design engineer at Nvidia. He pursued his B.Tech in Electrical Engineering from IIT Kanpur. Talking about the competition, Pandey says, “Cloud telephony space is at a nascent stage in India and is expected to grow to grow exponentially in the coming years with enterprises shifting towards cloud enabled products. Foreseeing this growth there are Indian Players like Ozonetel and Exotel which have started offering these services. Their current play is more towards providing an API and expecting the developer community to design solutions using the same. We feel that this might be too early for Indian enterprises that need packaged products addressing their main pain points, in this regard we have a head start on our competitors.”
The company would gradually promote its API as the developer community becomes more mature and expect this to contribute towards their growth. They feel that international players like J2 Global and Twilio would find it difficult to penetrate as their platform supports VoIP, allowed in a limited way under Indian telecom regulatory norms and majority of their sales are done online. Thus, it would be difficult for them to sell in developing countries where majority of population is offline.
Sequoia Capital is an early and growth-stage venture capital firm which invests across various sectors: consumer, energy, financial, healthcare, infrastructure, internet, mobile, and outsourcing. Few of its portfolio companies include Café Coffee Day, Cotton County, Quick Heal, Printo, Via, KMC, Tribi, Prizm, UnitedLex, Manappuram, Unicon, Vasan Health Care, JustDial, Micromax, Idea Cellular, Comviva and many more.