The Business Times

Tiger, CDPQ join US$105m round for software firm CleverTap

Published Wed, Aug 10, 2022 · 11:30 PM

CLEVERTAP, a software platform that helps e-commerce and consumer firms communicate with their customers, raised US$105 million in a round led by the Caisse de Depot et Placement du Quebec (CDPQ) and including Tiger Global.

CDPQ, Canada's second-largest pension fund, is the biggest investor in the series D round at US$75 million. India's IIFL Asset Management and Sequoia Capital's India unit are also investing in CleverTap, whose corporate name is WizRocket.

CleverTap works with large brands to increase customer retention and improve revenue. Founded in Mumbai in 2013, the company now has 1,200 clients including Canon, AirAsia, Toronto-Dominion Bank, Papa John's and the English Premier League.

"We will continue to invest in our product and engineering, but we will also invest in accelerating go-to-market globally," Sunil Thomas, co-founder and executive chairman of CleverTap, said in an interview. Having the Caisse as a long-term investor "is going to be significantly important and critical."

Martin Laguerre, the Quebec fund's head of private equity, described CleverTap's niche market as "growing and very sticky." The firm's software, aided by artificial intelligence, helps companies grab the attention of consumers though email and mobile-phone notifications, in-app messaging and other methods.

"Our focused efforts in technology are really on the business-to-business software as a service model," Laguerre said. "We think that it is very resilient in various economic times, in inflationary times, in stagflation times if we come to that."

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While companies used to spend heavily to generate more app downloads, Thomas explained that the trend has changed towards focusing on keeping users. "The more you can retain your existing customer, you actually tend to get a lot more value," he said.

At the last funding round in 2019, CleverTap was valued at US$385 million and that has now doubled.

Technology is 1 of 4 sectors the Caisse focuses on in private equity. The recent bankruptcy of cryptocurrency lender Celsius Network hit the fund's reputation after it made a US$150 million investment less than a year ago.

Asked about the firm's due diligence process, Laguerre said: "Vigilance is always there in terms of process, and the debates are robust and fair." BLOOMBERG

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