The growth of Whatfix has been on a strong upwards curve. The Bengaluru headquartered Digital Adoption Solutions (“DAS”) provider recently acquired Nittio Learn, a learning management system, amid a strong quarter. In an interaction with CIO AXIS, Khadim Batti, CEO and co-founder, Whatfix, says, “Since the Series C funding in 2020, Whatfix’s valuation has tripled to a ballpark figure of $600 million. The investment exemplifies the rising need for digital adoption platforms and showcases that Whatfix is primed to lead in this industry.”
CIO AXIS: Tell us about Whatfix. How did you come up with this venture?
Khadim Batti: The Whatfix journey began in 2010 when Vara and I decided to launch SearchEnabler, a marketing DIY product aimed at small businesses. This was an on-demand SaaS tool that allowed businesses to put recommendations for improving organic search visibility into action. While SearchEnbler gained a lot of popularity and we managed to get roughly 100 clients in a year, we ran into a new problem: the product was not being deployed successfully as most customers wanted extensive support and guidance. Building smart flows to solve this core pain point led to the inception of Whatfix.
Whatfix offers a unique Digital Adoption Platform (DAP) that provides in-app guidance, intelligent nudges, automation for quick adoption of new software solutions and increasing productivity. We are allowing enabling faster, more efficient onboarding and usage for all types of enterprises in a world where sophisticated tools such as CRMs, ERPs, and HCMs require extensive training and time before they can be used to their full potential. The platform is designed in such a way that that customization and authoring of flows are the easiest. Whatfix content can be easily integrated with the learning management system (LMS) of the organizations and the entire engagement can be tracked in analytics for further modifications as well.
CIO AXIS: Tell us more about the core team of Whatfix that has helped the organization where it is now.
Khadim Batti: My co-founder Vara and I had worked together at Huawei for over 9 years before starting our own venture. We shared a passion for creating a global product company from India with innovation at its core. Both of us had extensive expertise in the software industry before taking up entrepreneurship. I have over 20 years of experience in leading technology teams and have previously worked at Kenexa, Applabs Technologies, and CMC Limited, while Vara has spent nearly 9 years at Huawei in various roles ranging from Software Engineer to Systems Architect. For our core team and otherwise, we hired like-minded people. In fact, around 80% of our core management team has some or the other entrepreneurial background. This clearly translates into having a core team that is driven, is passionate, perseveres, and knows the importance of failing fast.
CIO AXIS: Tell us about the major milestones that Whatfix has achieved.
Khadim Batti: Our growth has been on a strong upwards curve, with Whatfix being a global leader in DAP today. Over the past year, our customers have shifted their entire workforces to remote working, necessitating them to find new ways to remotely engage with their employees. Just a few days back, Whatfix announced the acquisition of Nittio Learn, a learning management system, that will advance the company’s application training capability by making learning more personalized, adaptive and rich. This was announced amid record quarters, achieving quarterly growth of 100% on a YoY basis for the past 2 consecutive quarters. Recently, Whatfix also raised $90 million in Series D funding led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2. Since the Series C funding in 2020, Whatfix’s valuation has tripled to a ballpark figure of $600 million. The investment exemplifies the rising need for digital adoption platforms and showcases that Whatfix is primed to lead in this industry.
Since 2019, Whatfix saw its total revenue and headcount increase by 300 percent, and acquired an AI-powered personalization engine, Airim, making Whatfix the industry’s first Digital Adoption Solution (DAS) to offer autonomous personalization. Over the last year, Whatfix saw an increased customer usage of in-app engagement and communication by 150%. There has been a 2X increase in headcount and revenue bolstered through the addition of 130+ enterprise customers including Center State Bank, Vivial, AkzoNobel, Ciena, Aurecon, and more, adding additional support for desktop and mobile applications, in addition to browser applications. We have over 500 employees with six offices across the globe in India, US, UK, Germany and Australia. We are trusted by 500 companies including 100 Fortune 1000 companies across the globe.
As an Indian SaaS start-up in the Digital Adoption Platform space, we are excited to continue our leadership in this landscape. Gartner has recognized our category – Digital Adoption Solution – and positioned us as one of the pioneers in the space. We have been recognized by Deloitte and Everest Consulting as well in industry reports on this category. Whatfix has also been featured in the LinkedIn Top 10 Indian Start-ups 2020 list, showcasing how we have emerged as one of the leaders in the digital adoption solution category. Whatfix has again earned 12 Leader badges across the Digital Adoption Platforms and Customer Self-Service Sofware categories in G2’s Summer 2021 reports.
CIO AXIS: Why are digital adoption platforms (DAP) critical for digital business transformation?
Khadim Batti: As companies ramp up their digital transformation initiatives, investing in digital adoption platforms (DAP) will be essential to embrace every aspect of the digital tools available at the disposal. Leaders are shifting their training initiatives from in-person to online because they can’t afford to put off training and upskilling their employees. The Digital Adoption Platform (DAP) assists businesses to achieve smooth digital transformation by training employees on how to use software programs that are new to the company or that employees aren’t already using to their full potential.
DAP enables learning and development teams to generate digital walkthroughs and in-app instructions that show users how to use software while they are logged in and accomplishing tasks. DAPs break down even the most complex tasks and workflows into intuitive and easily performable steps, which streamlines the entire software experience lifecycle, from onboarding to training, ongoing support and change management. As organizations navigate their digital transformation journey and make significant investments in software solutions, Whatfix is a protection of those investments.
CIO AXIS: With the COVID19 Pandemic Outbreak being so rampant in our country, how has Whatfix played its role in the situation?
Khadim Batti: COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the pace of digital transformation across businesses. Adoption and optimum use of critical platforms and technologies is of utmost importance for digital transformation. Whatfix plays a significant role in ensuring that an organization’s entire workforce is onboarded and utilizes the tools at their disposal successfully. Our SaaS offering assists firms in increasing output while lowering the prices of tech enterprise tools. As a company with the majority of its employees based in India, yet selling to global organizations, we were well-equipped to keep everything running smoothly from customer support and sales perspective.
Additionally, while many businesses felt compelled to scale back their services due to COVID-19, Whatfix implemented the Helping Hand Initiative, an effort to support impacted customers’ continued need to onboard, train, and ensure workforce productivity virtually during the COVID-19 crisis by offering business continuity solutions at no cost.