Customer and sales engagement tool WATI (WhatsApp Team Inbox) have announced undisclosed funding led by Sequoia Capital India’s Surge. WATI enables companies to have scalable yet personalised conversations with an easy-to-use customer engagement software that is built on WhatsApp’s Business API.
With the advent of messaging apps such as Messenger, LINE, WeChat and WhatsApp, consumers have become used to real-time conversations with friends and family. WATI is now enabling brands and customers to replicate this experience. Customer relationships are built through conversations, and in this day and age, waiting longer for a service can drive customers to seek out more responsive and engaging businesses.
Founded in 2020 in Hong Kong, WATI’s vision is to leverage these fundamental behavioural shifts to help businesses meet their customers where they are – on these messaging platforms. This will support businesses in building stronger customer relationships by being more accessible and personalised.
“We’re living in the ‘now’ economy. From getting a taxi in just a few minutes, watching a movie on demand, to ordering your dinner in minutes. This expectation is now ingrained into anyone who has experienced instant gratification in a product or service. We want to make sure that any brand can remain accessible and responsive to their customers, while making it feel extremely personal at the same time. Through WATI, brands can leverage our easy-to-use, automated interface to have personalised and fast conversations with their customers at scale. Our success to date has demonstrated the growing need for a solution to engage more meaningfully with customers.” said Bianca Ho, Co-Founder and COO, WATI.
WATI’s platform and technology leverages WhatsApp’s Business API, considered one of the most important customer communication channels due to its high engagement – 80% of messages sent to WhatsApp are seen within 5 minutes – ability to facilitate rich messaging such as images, videos and rich buttons.
Through the WATI platform, SMEs can send personalised notifications from their system in a programmatic way through WATI’s API. They can also support their customers through a collaborative team inbox with multiple agents, smart routing, canned responses, data tagging, and analytics. Many of these interactions can be automated through low-code workflow builders and chatbots.
“We wanted to have an open-line communication with our customers, using Business WhatsApp API & WATI’s solution we were able to achieve that. Every brand envisions to provide exceptional customer experience, WATI’s quick implementation has helped us achieve this Vision because Vision without execution is merely a hallucination.” says Syed Waqas Pervez, Head of Ecommerce and Customer Care, Zellbury.
WATI was launched in Hong Kong by Bianca Ho and Ken Yeung as part of Clare.AI. Bianca was the first ever youth representative in the United Nations IGF’s Multistakeholder Advisory Group and is an ex-JPM banker turned entrepreneur. Ken was a lead application developer for SaxoTraderGO, a cloud based trading platform that offered clients access to 37 stock exchanges. With his AI experience, he started Clare.AI with Bianca to serve enterprise clients with Asian language NLP.
WATI is part of Surge’s fifth cohort of 23 companies that have developed new digital solutions to help companies and individuals live, work and learn better in a rapidly evolving Southeast Asian landscape.