Bengaluru: Salesforce’s strategic venture fund has chipped in $15 million into human resource technology platform Darwinbox, the global customer relationship management giant’s maiden India investment.

The round, which comes at a time when the startup is looking to expand its presence in Southeast Asia and West Asia, was led by Salesforce Ventures and saw participation from Darwinbox’s existing investors Sequoia Capital, Lightspeed India, Endiya Partners and 3one4 Capital.

The Singapore and Hyderabad-based company has, including the latest round, raised around $35 million.

Founded by Chaitanya Peddi, Jayant Paleti and Rohit Chennamaneni in 2016, Darwinbox said the investment follows a 300% growth in revenues since September 2019, when the company raised $15 million in Series B funding led by Sequoia Capital.

Darwinbox said the latest investment will allow it to leverage Salesforce’s distribution network in the regions where it is looking to grow.

“From our perspective, there’s so much to learn from Salesforce. We can use the power of their network, their distribution and their partner ecosystem in all the geographies that we want to be successful in,” said Jayant Paleti, cofounder of Darwinbox

Paleti added that while Saleforce’s investment is a recognition of the work it has been able to do, the investment opens up several opportunities for collaboration with the CRM giant, including jointly servicing customer needs in India, Southeast Asia and the MENA region.

Darwinbox said it is already the third largest HR cloud provider after SAP and Oracle in India and wants to become a leader in the space in the next two years.

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It is also expanding its presence across markets such as Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia. It also recently launched its service in West Asia.

“Cloud adoption in Asia is growing at a monumental pace and the (Covid-19) pandemic has only further amplified the importance of going digital,” said Alex Kayyal, Partner and Head of International at Salesforce Ventures. “Darwinbox is delivering innovation for Asia’s leading enterprises and has emerged as a top platform of choice.”

Darwinbox is one of the leading Indian Software as a Service companies that has been able to sell to local customers, unlike a lot of software product companies focusing on selling to customers in the United States and Europe.

The firm has focused on building a product that is in line with HR demands of midsize and enterprise businesses in India, Paleti said.

The company said it services around 500 enterprises globally, touching around 1 million employees across 60 countries.

Its clients include large traditional businesses such as Adani, Mahindra, Kotak, TVS, and also large internet companies such as Swiggy, BigBasket and Delhivery.





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