Digital Adoption platforms will help organizations speed up employee onboarding and cut back on training costs, says Vara Kumar, CTO & Co-Founder, Whatfix
The global pandemic has proven an inflection point for the adoption of digital technologies as companies are pouring millions into their digital transformation initiatives. Several tech startups are capitalizing on this opportunity and are creating new and innovative solutions to support businesses in their digital transformation journey.
Whatfix, a SaaS based startup, which has positioned itself as a digital adoption solutions company, is on a growth trajectory. The California and Bengaluru-based firm witnessed a 3X increase of its valuation over 15 months, along with a tripling of revenue and headcount in the last two years, and believes it is a critical part of India’s startup ecosystem.
Vara Kumar, CTO & Co-Founder of Whatfix believes that learning and guidance are equally important aspects for the success of a digital transformation. This is where Digital Adoption Platforms (DAP) plays a key role
Kumar says, “DAP tools support employees from configuration, to testing, to go-live, and provide both the foundational knowledge and the instructional help that comes into play later. Hence, positioning digital adoption solution as an essential component of digital transformation is the first step to success and will give businesses the necessary resilience to meet future challenges.”
Kumar says that the company’s growth has been on a strong upwards curve as it positioned itself as a global leader in the DAP market.
“Our Digital Adoption Platform comprises in-app walkthroughs, videos, and guides for using new software solutions and features. In a world where CRMs or other sophisticated software requires significant training and time before it can be used properly, we are enabling faster, more efficient onboarding and usage for all types of organizations. The platform is designed in a way that customization and authoring of outflows becomes easier,” he explains.
With a prestigious list of clientele such as Infosys, Wipro and TCS implementing Whatfix DAP on their home-grown applications and then forging strategic partnerships, the eight-year-old start-up has a unique advantage in being able to integrate the solutions with almost any form of application.
According to Kumar, “Over the past year, as companies operated remotely, seeking new ways to engage with their employees, customers and partners, the company’s in-app engagement in customer services increased by 150% every month, as compared to the pre-Covid period. Additionally, we have seen a 2X increase in revenue.”
Speaking about how the company’s recent acquisitions that have contributed to the company’s portfolio, Kumar says, “This year, we acquired a company that provides tech-led presentations to help digital adoptions in enterprises faster and is an organic extension of what Whatfix does. By incorporating NittioLearn’s capabilities we can advance the company’s application training capability by making learning more personalized, adaptive and rich.”
In 2019, the company acquired Airim, a company that provides an AI-powered Personalization Engine for users and customers. Kumar informs, “By incorporating Airim’s capabilities we are working on providing hyper-personalized in-app guidance at the user’s point of need such as to analyze clickstreams, how long a step takes and where users get stuck or abandons the process completely.”
These acquisitions, according to Kumar are a testament to Whatfix’s growth story and are the key to its plans for strengthening the product portfolio.
Speaking about the trends in the digital adoption market, Kumar says that digital adoption is not only the key to a successful digital transformation, but it is becoming a fact of business life.
“Technologies such as Digital Adoption platforms will help organizations speed up employee onboarding and cut back on training costs while improving productivity and comprehension. Besides, Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and AI-powered personalization engines are also driving employee engagement,” he says.
The startup has scooped up $90 million in a Series D funding led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2 in June this year and raised $139.8 million so far and the company’s valuation has increased three times with the latest fundraise, touching $600 million.
The company will be investing the funds to continue growing its stronghold in the US market, while accelerating global expansion into new markets such as Asia Pacific and Europe. Kumar, adds that the funds are also used in product innovation focusing on AI, enterprise solutions, and providing personalized experiences.
He informs, “Over the last year, we have added over 130 enterprise customers including Center State Bank, Vivial, AkzoNobel, Ciena, Aurecon, and more, adding additional support for desktop and mobile applications, in addition to browser applications.”
The company has over 600 employees with six offices across the globe in India, US, UK and Australia and continues to be on a hiring spree. “We are focusing on enabling our tech team. We are going to hire and scale up our engineering and product team as well.”
GTM functions are present in the U.S. as well as in Europe, with the company planning to hire big time in the U.S, when it comes to sales and account management function, says Kumar. For product design, Whatfix recently hired a design leadership in the U.S.
“We intend to hire people in other countries but at this moment, the process is at a nascent stage for engineering talent. But we are exploring other countries to tap on to the skill advantage, stability, competence and cost advantage from those countries,” informs Kumar.
The company has been recognized by Gartner in the Digital Adoption Solution categories with the latter positioning it as one of the pioneers in the space. It has also been recognized by Deloitte and Everest Consulting as well in industry reports in this category.
Last year, Whatfix was featured in the LinkedIn Top Startups India 2020 list, showcasing how it has emerged as one of the leaders in the industry digital adoption solution category. And more recently, Whatfix was included in the Hurun India Future Unicorn List 2021.
As remote and hybrid work becomes the norm, Kumar believes that its game-changing DAP has enabled organizations to drive speed and efficiency in their adoption of new technology offerings.
“As an Indian SaaS startup in the Digital Adoption Platform space, we are excited to continue our leadership in this area,” he concludes.