Airtel picks up strategic stake in Kerala-based tech start-up Waybeo

Airtel picks up strategic stake in Kerala-based tech start-up Waybeo
(From left) Krishnan R V, CEO, Manu Dev, Director, Customer Success, and Bijoy B S, CFO
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New Delhi: Bharti Airtel on Wednesday said it has picked up a strategic stake in Waybeo under its start-up accelerator programme, in line with its strategy to ramp-up cloud offerings. The company did not divulge into the financial details of the deal.

The Thiruvananthapuram-based tech startup Waybeo, focused on deep artificial intelligence-based analytics for cloud telephony, is fifth to join the Airtel Startup Accelerator Program. In the past, Vahan, Spectacom, Lattu Kids and Voicezen have joined the programme.

The Waybeo is now located in the scale-up space of Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM).

"As part of its strategy to scale up its cloud offerings, Bharti Airtel today (on Wednesday) announced that it has picked up a strategic stake in tech start-up Waybeo under the Airtel Startup Accelerator Program," the company said in a statement.

The programme aims to help promising start-ups unlock their potential, the statement added.

The Waybeo Technology Solutions on Wednesday said that the Bharti Airtel picked up 10 per cent stake in the company with focus on deep AI analytics for cloud telephony.

The public cloud services market in India is likely to reach $7.1 billion by 2024, according to IDC estimates. Of this, the cloud telephony market is seeing rapid growth as businesses move processes to cloud-based platforms.

"Waybeo has built cutting-edge analytics tools for the enterprise cloud telephony segment. Under the Airtel Startup Accelerator Program, Waybeo's solutions will get larger distribution reach while giving Airtel access to Waybeo's proven as well as emerging technologies," the statement added.

Ford India, Royal Enfield, Honda Car India, Nissan Motors India, Bridgestone, Ceat Tyres, HP, Lodha Group are among some of the enterprise customers of Waybeo.

Backed by an integrated product portfolio, including its multi-cloud product and solutions business, Airtel serves over 2,500 large enterprises and more than a million emerging businesses.

Bharti Airtel Chief Product Officer Adarsh Nair said, "Cloud technologies are transforming the way businesses serve and delight their customers".

Waybeo CEO Krishnan R V said the company is focused on enterprise adoption for its call intelligence tools. Most of the enterprises drive hundreds of thousands of phone calls a month, but there is no analytics, automation, or means to optimise the customer experience, he added.

"We look at strategic investment from Airtel as an opportunity to scale our technology and enterprise reach," he said.

"We envisage a technology that analyses the feedback of Airtel customers, besides improve automation for the telecom company to perform better," he said.

"As a B2B collaboration, this will enable our firm fetch more such opportunities in the future. We are capable of providing prospects in commerce that goes beyond mobile-phone and internet services," he added.

The Airtel Startup Accelerator Program enables start-ups to leverage the company's ecosystem, including its strengths in data, distribution, networks and payments. This entails access to online and offline distribution network, deep market understanding and platform of global strategic partners.

Start-ups also get access to advisory services from Airtel's executive team.

The cloud telephony market in the country is registering rapid growth with businesses moving processes steadily giving prominence to cloud-based platforms.

KSUM is the nodal agency of the Kerala government for entrepreneurship development and incubation activities in the state.

(With PTI inputs)

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