BiteSpeed, a SaaS platform, has raised $1.9 million in seed fundraising led by Sequoia India’s Surge, with participation from First Cheque, Whiteboard Capital, and Angel investors including CRED founder Kunal Shah and Teachable creator Ankur Nagpal.
This platform gives e-commerce businesses the tools they need to adopt conversational commerce as the way to sell online in the future.
Vinayak Aggarwal, the company’s founder, saw that online direct-to-consumer (D2C) businesses have had to rely significantly on Facebook and Google Ads to grow their customer base, as well as email marketing to keep them.
“The past decade of e-commerce brands were built on acquiring customers through Facebook or Google Ads, and retaining them through email marketing. However, with chat apps like WhatsApp and Instagram taking center stage in recent times, our bet is that the future of commerce is conversational,” said Aggarwal in a statement.
At BiteSpeed, they’re building the conversational commerce stack for e-commerce brands to engage and sell to their customers on chat.
Since its launch in October 2019, they’re grateful to now be working with over 1,500 brands in more than 50 countries around the globe.
With the funds raised, they look forward to hiring across their tech, marketing, and product teams as well as expanding their presence in the United States, Europe, and Latin America.
Consumers have flocked to messaging and chat apps like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and Instagram, which have quickly become the go-to platforms for consumer communication.
Ad costs on Facebook and Google Ads platforms have climbed fivefold over the years, and e-commerce email open rates are only 15.7 percent on average.
Furthermore, ad expenses have risen by 90% year over year, implying that the key avenues for D2C firms to gain and keep customers are growing more difficult, posing a fundamental threat to the basic D2C business model of direct customer connection.
As a result, while still in college, Vinayak gathered a group of friends and began working on BiteSpeed from his dorm room. These students, who learned to code from the ground up, are now part of the company’s founding team.
Within a year, the app had been downloaded by over 1,000 businesses in over 50 countries around the world.