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Airtel acquires 10% stake in Waybeo to boost cloud offerings

As part of its strategy to scale up its cloud offerings, Bharti Airtel has picked up a strategic stake in tech startup Waybeo

twitter-logoBusinessToday.In | September 23, 2020 | Updated 18:52 IST
Airtel acquires 10% stake in Waybeo to boost cloud offerings
Acquisition of equity shares of Waybeo has been done at mutually agreed pre money enterprise valuation, says Airtel

Bharti Airtel on Wednesday said it has acquired 10 per cent stake in tech start-up Waybeo under its 'Startup Accelerator Program'. The move is a part of the company's strategy to scale up its cloud offerings. This would be an all-cash deal at mutually agreed pre money enterprise valuation. The deal is expected to be completed within one month.

Waybeo, a Trivandrum-headquartered startup focused on deep Al-based analytics for cloud telephony, is the fifth start-up to join the Airtel Startup Accelerator Program, which helps promising start-ups unlock their potential.

"Acquisition of the equity shares of are acquired investee company (Waybeo) is done at mutually agreed pre money enterprise valuation. The said valuation is not material and not disclosed herein due to reasons of confidentiality," Bharti Airtel said in a filing to BSE.

As per market intelligence firm IDC, the public cloud services market in India is likely to touch $7.1 billion by 2024. Within this, the cloud telephony market is seeing rapid growth as businesses move processes to cloud-based platforms.

Waybeo has developed 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 technologies. Airtel serves over 2,500 large enterprises and more than a million emerging businesses with an integrated product portfolio, including Airtel Cloud, a multi-cloud product and solutions business.

Commenting on the development, Adarsh Nair, Chief Product Officer, Bharti Airtel said: "Cloud technologies are transforming the way businesses serve and delight their customers. We are thrilled to onboard Waybeo to our Startup Accelerator Program and provide them a platform to scale up their technologies as part of Airtel's world-class cloud services ecosystem."

"We are really focused on enterprise adoption for our call intelligence tools. Most of the enterprises drive hundreds of thousands of phone calls a month. There is no analytics, no automation, and no means to optimise the customer experience. We look at strategic investment from Airtel as an opportunity to scale our technology and enterprise reach," said Krishnan R V, CEO, Waybeo.

Airtel Startup Accelerator Program allows start-ups to leverage Airtel's robust ecosystem, including its core strengths in data, distribution, networks and payments. This includes access to a vast online and offline distribution network that Airtel claims touches more than 300 million customers, deep market understanding, and platform of global strategic partners. Further, start-ups also get access to advisory services from Airtel's executive team. In the past, Vahan, Spectacom, Lattu Kids and Voicezen have joined the programme.

Meanwhile, shares of Bharti Airtel ended Wednesday's trade at Rs 433.90, down 7.89 per cent, against previous closing price of Rs 471.05 on the BSE.

By Chitranjan Kumar

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