SaaS platform LeadSquared becomes unicorn with $153 million funding – TechCrunch

LeadSquared, a SaaS startup that is helping sales teams become more efficient with its CRM platform, is the latest Indian startup to become a unicorn.

LeadSquared said on Tuesday it has raised $153 million in a Series C funding round that valued it at $1 billion (post-money). The round was led by WestBridge Capital, the 11-year-old startup said. Existing backers including Gaja Capital also participated in the new funding, which takes the startup’s all-time raise to $188 million.

The startup helps firms automate sales, bringing efficiency to all the touch points where sales executives are involved including call centers, feet-on-street force and other areas including digital where consumer purchases take place. The startup provides the firms with tools to easily on-board vendors, do verifications and collections.

LeadSquared says its CRM platform “takes away the guesswork” from sales execution — “no matter how complex the customer journey.”

The startup, which employs about 1,200 people, currently generates 90% of its revenue in the home market of India, said Nilesh Patel, co-founder and chief executive of LeadSquared, in an interview with TechCrunch. In the financial year ending March this year, the startup doubled its revenue to about $25.6 million, he said.

Patel co-founded LeadSquared with Prashant Singh and Sudhakar Gorti in 2011, a time when there weren’t many startups in the country. The founders previously worked as consultants and built a software services business. “That was a business around product engineering services, selling to U.S. and European markets. We got a lot of learnings from that,” he said.

The startup identified that business-to-consumer services were finally beginning to emerge and thrive in the South Asian market, which is now home to over 100 unicorns. “They were early adopters of what we built. And those businesses grew, we found ourselves to be lucky to be there.”

“LeadSquared has shown a remarkable ability to scale and grow efficiently. Its core SaaS metrics are unique and best-in-class in the industry,” said Sumir Chadha, co-founder and managing director of WestBridge Capital, in a statement.

“Its focus on building an easy-to-use platform that transforms sales processes through automation delivering unparalleled efficiency, has significant potential for growth in the global market. Future of LeadSquared is very exciting to us and we look forward to a long partnership with the company.”

LeadSquared has amassed over 2,000 customers including Pearson, Byju’s, Dunzo, Kotak Securities, Amazon Pay, Olx, and Uni. As you can tell, its customers span across multiple sectors including healthcare, edtech, lending, banking, and marketplaces. The startup plans to deploy the fresh funds to expand its international operations in North America, the APAC region and EMEA.

The startup is now looking to broaden its product with new features including sales performance analytics and a suite of tools to digitize application processing. “Our story is vertical applications. Our product is not CRM-to-CRM comparison. So when we go to a new vertical, there are certain adjacencies that are relevant but may not necessarily fall in the classic lens of sales marketing, so those are opportunity areas for us,” said Patel.

“We are grateful for the support of our investors as we strive to build LeadSquared into a globally significant business. With this financing, we will double down on growth investments in India and North America, start building in APAC and EMEA, add new offerings to our product portfolio, and fund acquisitions. To support our growth, we plan to double our headcount in the next 18 months,” said Patel.

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