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Exotel acquires voice-based media startup Croak.it!


Bangalore-based virtual business telephony system provider Exotel has acquired the voice-based media startup Croak.it! for an undisclosed amount, reports the Economic Times. According to Exotel, there was an overlap in the nature of the problems both the teams were solving and this acquisition would help it improve its services. The company also mentioned it plans to acquire more startups in the voice space.

Founded in 2012 by Prokit Roychowdhury and Srinivasa Teja, the Singapore-based Croak.it is a sound sharing app and is available on iOS, Android and for browsers. The platform is pretty similar to instant sharing platforms like Twitter or Instagram, but allows users to share recorded audio clips of up to 30 seconds instead.

‘Croaks’ recorded by users can be kept private or shared publicly, although there doesn’t seem to be an option to selectively share. The platform also allows users to ‘Explore’ trending croaks or follow specific users to keep updated on their croaks and to upvote/downvote other croaks. It also claims to have a ‘mix’ feature coming soon.

Founded in 2011, Exotel provides cloud telephony services for small and medium enterprises including virtual phone numbers, IVR greetings and call routing, call centre setup and cash on delivery verification among others. The company deploys cloud-based telephony solutions to replace communication hardware systems, to reduce costs, space requirements and maintenance efforts. It also offers a virtual dashboard that offers various tools to help businesses manage several areas like sales, marketing, customer support, business intelligence, and analytics.

Exotel currently provides a fully featured free trial account worth Rs 1500 and three tiered plans for customers. This includes a startup plan of Rs 1750 a month for 2 phones, an SME plan which costs Rs 4125 per month for 5 phones and a high growth company plan for Rs 6000 per month for 10 phones. The plans also offer various additional features per tier.

The company currently counts redBus, Barbeque Nation, Godrej, Groupon India, Ola and CommonFloor among its clients. The company also claims to have set up about 650 call centres since inception. In 2012, Exotel had raised Rs 2.5 crores in its Series A funding from Blume Ventures and Mumbai Angels in return for a 25% stake.

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Other developments

– Cloud telephony company Knowlarity Communications Pvt. Ltd had raised $16 million in Series B funding from Sequoia Capital and Mayfield Advisors in July last year. The company had said then a part of the investment will also be diverted towards acquiring competitors. Previously, in January 2012 it had raised Rs.34 crore from Sequoia Capital. The Gurgaon-based company has also received funding from Emergic Venture Capital in the past.

– In January 2014, Knowlarity had acquired Unicom Techlabs, a startup in the same sector, for an undisclosed amount. Unicom had more than 200 customers who were handed over to Knowlarity along with all the intellectual property it developed.

-In February 2013, Indian cloud telephony company Ozonetel had inked a strategic partnership with Resolvity Information Technologies to acquire the customers of Resolvity’s VoiceGain product. At the same time news emerged that Resolvity would be winding up its India operations.

-Other Indian companies in the cloud telephony space are Intelliverse,VoiceTree, Microtel, etc.

Image source: Exotel

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