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startup | IST

Uniphore eyes pole position in US market, increases its growth estimate for 2019

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Conversational AI developer Uniphore is confident of registering a year-on-year revenue growth of between 400 and 500 percent this year.

Conversational AI developer Uniphore is confident of registering a year-on-year revenue growth of between 400 and 500 percent this year. Earlier this year, the company secured Series-C funding of $51 million, which Uniphore said would go into global expansion and increasing its workforce.
“This (funding) was on the back of us registering a 300 percent year-on-year growth last year, which was rare in the B2B segment,” said Umesh Sachdev, co-founder and CEO, Uniphore, in an exclusive chat with CNBC-TV18, “The reason we raised such a large round was because we projected a 300 percent growth rate this year as well, which attracted investors. Five months in, we are also projecting a 400 to 500 percent growth this year, and are accelerating as we go ahead.”
With growth prospects assured, Uniphore is now looking to firm up its expansion blueprint. The company is making a foray into markets in Europe, Latin America, Canada, Australia and New Zealand starting next year. However, its golden goose continues to be the United States.
“This year, the US will account for 60 percent of our overall revenues,” said Umesh. The company’s big differentiator in this market, in particular, is how well it has integrated automation software into its speech recognition software.
“Our customers in the US have actively participated in our product evolution since they have forced us to think beyond AI and look at automation,” Umesh added, “That means AI and automation tools were required to assist call centre reps in real-time. Servicing these needs has allowed Uniphore to develop a unique product-market fit.”
In keeping with the success that it has enjoyed in the United States, Uniphore is now keen on market leadership in the region. "The way I look at it, nearly 50 percent of the $350 billion market is in North America, and that’s about $170 billion," said Umesh, “So, we will have to focus on the US market in order to dominate the world. We definitely have to be either the number one or number two player in the US for this to happen.” In keeping with this plan, Umesh shifted base to Palo Alto a year ago, from where he hopes to run Uniphore’s American operations.
Another reason the company is banking heavily on its US operations is the promise that the American market holds with it, on the macro-economic front. “Data from the US shows that low inflation, low-interest rates and unemployment could suggest that there is no risk of a slowdown in 2020,” said Umesh.
With its largest round of funding done and dusted, Uniphore will begin strategising for its next round, next year. "The company is well-capitalised for the next two years, and we are ahead of our peers on funding," said Umesh, "There is an absolute possibility of more capital being absorbed by Uniphore, but our present focus is on execution since we have spent less than 10 percent of our recent funds."