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M&A and Funding for Cyara, SaaS Group, Gupshup, Netcore Cloud, and Caplena

Companies Acquired are Botium, Pipeline, and Active.Ai; Investment Targets Include Unbxd, Caplena

CX acquisitions and funding

In this M&A and funding roundup: Cyara acquires Botium; SaaS Group purchases Pipeline CRM; Gupshup Buys Active.Ai; Netcore Cloud acquires majority stake in Unbxd; and Caplena flourishes with seven-figure seed money.

Cyara Closes Acquisition of Botium

Cyara, the Redwood City, California-based provider of its proprietary Automated CX Assurance Platform, has closed its acquisition of automated chatbot testing company Botium for an undisclosed amount, adding chatbot and conversational artificial intelligence (AI)-testing capabilities to its CX testing and assurance market portfolio. 

The acquisition is part of Cyara’s strategic plan for international growth and product innovation, fueled by a recent growth investment of $350 million. Cyara aims to deliver a complete CX assurance platform that tests customer journeys cohesively, regardless of channel and platform type. With the acquisition, Cyara gains more than 1,500 Botium customers, in addition to 185,000 open-source users, expanding Cyara’s existing international presence to Central Europe with the addition of Botium offices in Austria. 

Botium, named as a Gartner Cool Vendor in 2021, brings deep expertise in chatbots, conversational AI, and natural language understanding (NLU) to Cyara, bolstering Cyara’s automated CX assurance capabilities across digital channels. For this reason, the acquisition is regarded by Cyara as a major milestone in its growth, and further enhances its ability to help companies provide end-to-end customer experiences, says Alok Kulkarni, CEO of Cyara.

SaaS Group Acquires Pipeline

SaaS Group, the conglomerate from Las Vegas, Nevada, of indie businesses founded by experienced industry entrepreneurs, has acquired Pipeline CRM, the provider of a customer relationship management (CRM) software for small and medium businesses (SMBs). Financial details of the transaction are not known at this time.

Formerly known as Pipeline Deals, Pipeline CRM was founded in 2006 in Seattle and chose to remain a bootstrapped company with limited outside capital, quickly becoming known for providing an easy-to-use customizable user experience, sales-focused features, and responsive customer support. It served SMB companies operating across the industrial, logistics, and professional services sectors, where business-to-business (B2B) sales play an important role in driving organic revenue growth. Pipeline avoided the complexity of enterprise-focused solutions, such as those from Salesforce, in favor of a solution with a rich feature set that included automation and integration with popular tools, like Gmail and QuickBooks.

With the acquisition, SaaS Group says it is in a journey to build with Pipeline the leading CRM for SMBs in the US and around the world, introducing additional features, offering best-in-class customer support across multiple time zones, and providing a rich onboard experience.

Gupshup Buys Active.Ai

Gupshup, a conversational AI provider headquartered in San Francisco with primary operations in the US, UK, and India, has acquired Active.Ai, the Singapore-based provider of a conversational AI platform popular with banks and fintech firms.

Financial terms of the transaction are not disclosed at this time, but the acquisition strengthens Gupshup CX solutions for the company’s customers in the banking, financial services, and insurance (BFSI) sectors. While Gupshup uses conversational AI to help businesses worldwide engage customers in a more natural and contextual manner, the robust conversational banking as a service (CBaaS) platform of Active.Ai adds more vertical depth to the Gupshup product stack, giving BFSI customers the tools to create intelligent, frictionless micro conversations with consumers by using voice, video, and messaging channels.

Overall, the acquisition brings advanced omnichannel engagement across messaging, voice, and video to enterprise customers. Business-to-consumer (B2C) engagement that combines advanced NLU with enterprise connectivity is considered essential in the conversational economy.

India’s Netcore Cloud Takes Majority Stake in Unbxd

Netcore Cloud, the provider of a customer engagement and communications platform based in Mumbai, India, has made an investment close to $100 million for a majority stake in Unbxd, an e-commerce product discovery platform with dual headquarters in San Mateo, California, and Bengaluru, India.

The investment will enable Netcore Cloud to gain a foothold in the US and other developed markets, while also allowing the company to combine its own full-stack marketing automation tech platform with the personalization solutions of Unbxd to capture more cross-selling opportunities and scale the business globally. Netcore Cloud says there will be no change in management, with Unbxd to continue operating as an independent entity.

Unbxd, founded in 2012 in India, is known for deploying self-learning AI and machine learning (ML) models alongside advanced algorithms to deliver personal recommendation and merchandising controlsCommerce stores can then leverage the AI-driven technology to centralize, curate, and syndicate product information.

Caplena Raises Seven-Figure Seed Round

Caplena, the Swiss provider of an AI-powered text analytics software as a service (SaaS) for customer feedback, has closed its first-ever financing round with seed money in the seven-figure range, bringing the company’s valuation to $10 million. As Caplena switches from bootstrapping to a funded startup, the invested money will be used to fuel Caplena sales and marketing efforts and to expand the company’s core technology. No disclosures were made at this time on the identity of the investors.

Many companies rely on Caplena as their primary source to analyze customer feedback for a wide array of industries. The company’s flexible and accurate AI-powered tool enables text analysis at a fraction of the cost and time otherwise needed for a fully manual analysis. Caplena is also working on a complete revamp of its AI engine to automatically identify topics and assign them to individual customer comments.

Currently used by 100 customers in 15 countries around the world, Caplena has been able to double its customer base every year. With just 10 people in the payroll, Caplena is ready to expand, says Maurice Gonzenbach, CEO and co-founder of Caplena. “We’ve been fans of bootstrapping because it gave us the freedom to focus on the core technology and AI without too much external pressure. Now we’re ready to bring our product to the global stage,” says Gonzenbach.

Author Information

Alex is responsible for writing about trends and changes that are impacting the customer experience market. He had served as Principal Editor at Village Intelligence, a Los Angeles-based consultancy on technology impacting healthcare and healthcare-related industries. Alex was also Associate Director for Content Management at Omdia and Informa Tech, where he produced white papers, executive summaries, market insights, blogs, and other key content assets. His areas of coverage spanned the sectors grouped under the technology vertical, including semiconductors, smart technologies, enterprise & IT, media, displays, mobile, power, healthcare, China research, industrial and IoT, automotive, and transformative technologies.

At IHS Markit, he was Managing Editor of the company’s flagship IHS Quarterly, covering aerospace & defense, economics & country risk, chemicals, oil & gas, and other IHS verticals. He was Principal Editor of analyst output at iSuppli Corp. and Managing Editor of Market Watch, a fortnightly newsletter highlighting significant analyst report findings for pitching to the media. He started his career in writing as an Editor-Reporter for The Associated Press.

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