“SMS GupShup transits from SMS-centric to Voice Messaging and Mobile Client”
How does SMS Gupshup portray itself in the social media space?
To a large extent, social media is basically an internet and web centric phenomenon worldwide; whereas in India and other emerging markets things are different from the developed world. In these markets the ubiquitous media is mobile and not internet. Hence the entire thesis of Smsgupshup is to provide social networking experience that could be experienced completely on mobile even to those who do not have a web connection and to those who were never on the internet.
What are your latest offerings?
Until recently, our company has been SMS centric. Now, we are expanding our product range to the voice channel as voice messaging is one of the important modes of communication. The second prominent will be ‘Mobile Client’, on which the entire Smsgupshup’s services could be accessed on data plan. They can receive and send messages on data channel rather than on SMS channel and have a richer experience.
We augment our focus on monetization of social media through marketing and advertising; and our other prominent offering-crm solutions.
Do you have any fundraising plans at this juncture?
At this point of time, we are not eyeing any more funds as we raised a total fund of $47 mn. In August 2011, we have raised $10 mn by Tenaya Capital. Our other investors include Globespan Capital Partners, Helion Ventures, and Charles River Venture.
How would you utilize these funds?
We intend to scale up our sales and spend more on marketing. We will be migrating our in-house hosted offering to cloud and we will migrate our Sequel based data to no-sequel based data store. We are investing heavily on security architecture.
What is the USP of your technology?
We are a technology company, our core strength is the technology we have built. We send around 2 to 3 bn SMSES per month, nearly 100 mn SMSES per day. Our back-end technology is very scalable that is built on Java and Mysequel. It ensures high latency and redundancy.
We have an efficient application which runs on web browser/ mobile browser/ mobile client or a smartphone, the key to apps success.
What is your stand on Trai’s guidelines on bulk SMSES?
There was a need of regulation in mobile marketing. It will facilitate in maintaining a better practice and bring value to both m-marketers and consumers. It will foster legitimate mobile marketing companies.
The guidelines would not hinder the growth of mobile marketing space because consumers would like to receive relevant content. It will enhance mobile marketing segment which was previously untargeted.