I’m very proud to report that earlier today we issued a formal press release, announcing that Whispir has closed a funding round of AU $11.75 million. As we told the press, this money will be used to continue our expansion into the United States and Asia. Our investors include Telstra Ventures, NSI Ventures, Rippledot Capital, and private investors.
These investors share our vision and are very excited about our continued market leadership while driving the Communications Applications as a Service industry. As I told the press, our business model just gets stronger and stronger every day, with our customers using Whispir to innovate new uses of Whispir within their businesses. CAaaS is a new category that we have defined and we anticipate that will receive a lot of attention from the market over the next few years.
I wanted to take the opportunity to answer a few other questions that are important to our customers, partners, and employees.
Q1: Can you share a little about how Whispir will use the new round of funding?
At its core, Whispir is all about the awesome people that collaborate across regions to deliver world-class communications solutions for our clients. We have recognised significant growth in areas such as Customer Engagement, Crisis Communications, and Operational Communications in various industries such as Banking and Finance, Education, and Health. This funding will largely be spent on investing in our people, from product and engineering to customer success and enablement. Across all parts of Whispir, we are quickly building capacity and scaling our global operations to keep up with the astonishing market demand for our solutions.
Q2: There are so many communications technologies; email, sms, voice, mobile, push, social, and more - how is the market evolving?
Just like humans, businesses of all sizes struggle to meet the demand and expectations of people for rapid, relevant, actionable, and personalised communications - internally and externally, consistently and efficiently, and across all available channels and devices.
The proliferation of media and communications methods have created a ‘noisy’ environment where brands and businesses struggle to engage and connect with people. Amidst this noise, communication needs to be personal, relevant, and timely to break through.
Yes, there are lots of new capabilities, and point solutions emerging, seemingly all the time. It’s really hard for businesses to keep up with the pace of change. People are rapid adopters of these new capabilities where it makes sense for them to do so.
Traditional one-way ‘notifications’ are no longer good enough. People want more, they want options.
It is not good enough to send me an sms to say my flight is delayed 90mins. Perhaps I’ll miss a meeting and don’t need to fly anymore, perhaps I’ll stay in the city and have dinner with a colleague and a later flight would suit better, perhaps I now need a hotel and a car transfer.
People want options, rich content (insights), and they want two-way interactions. There are two different challenges that businesses must overcome to meet this demand for richer communication and engagement.
First: Businesses need to engage and communicate with their staff and customers in a manner that is personal, relevant, actional able, and timely to deliver on their internal and external brand promise.
Second: Businesses need to be capable of exploiting the various and specific capabilities of different communications technologies to deliver the right mix of effective communications and engagement outcomes that are sensitive to the context and preferences of the person receiving the communication.
Our contemporary reality is that it is no longer possible for most businesses to effectively manage and execute their communications without software. People alone are no longer able to service this demand.
Businesses that persist in relying on manual processes and fragmented point solutions (including apps) - run the risk of failing to meet the expectations of their staff and customers - damaging their brand. These businesses will also miss out on next-generation services and revenue opportunities because they are unable to quickly deploy new services that easily plug into their existing infrastructure and systems.
Whispir’s Communications Applications as a Service solutions specifically respond to this market condition, empowering people to manage their communications, effortlessly and elegantly at scale.
Q3: Can you explain more about what ”Communications Applications as a Service” means, and why it’s important?
Businesses are not interested in big enterprise platforms that are expensive and take a long time to deploy - they want to be able to consume as-a-service new communications capabilities. They want to be agile and able to quickly switch on and switch off just the communications capabilities they need at that time, retaining their flexibility and keeping costs down as their business requirements change.
Whispir’s ”Communications Applications as a Service” does just that. Powerful, enterprise-quality capabilities provided as a services that are super easy to consume. By making it easier for people (not just IT departments) to create and use communications apps and workflow to communicate more effectively.
This means that businesses can now design and implement rich media solutions to their messaging to engage their audiences in a more personalized way. The efficiencies gained with Whispir mean that our customers can experience almost instant ROI as in most cases, these knowledge leaders do not require IT resources to deliver these solutions. Whole new businesses can be built on top of the Whispir platform. This means competitive new services can get to market quickly and cost-effectively.
Whispir changes the economics of communications management - what might have taken 5-7 people weeks to do, can be done by one person, in minutes. Whispir is hugely empowering and enabling for those people.
Q4: In the press release, you mention partnerships with Telstra, StarHub, Twilio, and IBM. How and why are these partnerships important to the business moving forward?
Our channels are an essential part of our relationship with our customers. Generally, our channel partners have pre-existing customer relationships where they are already engaged in a conversation about the communication challenges, objectives, and outcomes the customer is seeking to achieve. Our channels are super well placed to introduce Whispir as a pre-qualified solution with a trusted and proven track record locally and globally. They are also able to deliver on their brand promise of delivering innovation and world-class solutions to identified customer challenges. Whispir becomes the competitive advantage and differentiator for our channels and our customers get the great solution outcomes they deserve, with the confidence of knowing that the channel has already done the work to prequalify Whispir as fit for purpose.
Q5: How would you describe how the company has evolved over the last few years?
Some things have remained the same, things like; culture, commitment, and focus, while other things have evolved dramatically, things like; capacity, scale, and expertise.
We have many critical infrastructure and emergency services clients as our customers so we have mindful of our commitments and responsibilities to provide emergency services grade services at all times. This means a commitment to governance, transparency, security, and behaving responsibly.
It also means we are measured and considered about how we manage our growth and build capacity to scale. We have completed this fundraising so that we can invest appropriately and accelerate our growth in response to massive market demand. We continue to incrementally build velocity across our business week to week and month to month.
Q6 What are you most proud of?
Throughout our history, we have been consistent in our commitment to fostering, nurturing, and protecting our culture of innovation. This is the most rewarding thing, especially when you see that investment in developing those skills in our people applied to the delivery of massive net new value and competitive advantage for our customers.
We encourage the development of deep subject matter expertise and work hard to translate those unique insights to commercially ready and useful outcomes for our customers.
Our commitment to being customer-first and providing brilliant service is at the core of our business. So, we actively look for opportunities for our people to get out and engage with and listen to our customers talk about their business challenges - hard challenges (you can hear the anxiety of uncertainty in the customer's voices).
Our people and our customers both benefit from thinking innovatively together, sharing insights, and telling stories that result in leaps of conceptual thinking and ideation. We make space for thinking about new solution outcomes. These new Whispir capabilities always make me smile - I love them.