Text messages are now an important part of running a business. But sorting through massive numbers of messages from customers, partners and even employees can be tedious and time-consuming.
That's the problem entrepreneur Beerud Sheth, co-founder and CEO of Gupshup, has taken on by using AI to quickly manage all that traffic, and to even make text messages a more valuable business tool.
“More and more enterprises are sending messages because they find it's so convenient,” Sheth told Business Insider. “The more they come in the harder it is to manage them.”
Gupshup, a Hindi word for “socializing” or “chatting,” uses AI to automatically sort and classify text messages on any device, organizing them into folders similar to the system used by Google's Gmail. The tool then transforms each message into a more compelling and easy-to-understand visual card. Sheth calls it smart messaging.
“It reads every message, extracts the key information and then displays it as a rich visualized card,” Sheth, who was also the founder of Elance, the freelance platform now known as Upwork, told Business Insider. “It looks like a boarding pass of a plane ticket or a credit card statement rather than a plain text message.”
Gupshup, which was founded in 2005 and is based in Palo Alto, is used by major companies, including Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, Citibank and LinkedIn. The company says its platform handles 4.5 billion messages a month.
Gupshup has raised $50 million in five rounds from investors, including CRV, Globespan Capital Partners and Helion Ventures. Its last funding round was in 2011 when it raised $10 million. Sheth says the startup has been profitable since then, generating up to $100 million in revenue a year.
Here's the pitch deck Gupshup used to raise its most recent funding round in 2011: