acquisition

Virtual messaging assistant app Helpchat, has acquired the Mumbai-based startup Niffler for an undisclosed amount. Helpchat will use the acquisition to expand its services to Mumbai and Pune faster, as Niffler already has a presence in these markets. The entire Niffler team will join Helpchat.

According to Helpchat, as both the companies offer consumers information over chat, the acquisition will help it grow its business. It’s not clear if going forward Niffler will be merged into Helpchat or maintained as a separate service. As of now, Helpchat claims to have a team of over 600 people and to use AI to automate query answering.

Helpchat, which works as a virtual messaging assistant, provides mobile and DTH recharge services, gadget tech support, travel ticket booking, holiday package guidance, coupons, deals, product search, stylist support, at home beauty services, movie tickets, gift orders and suggestions, on demand laundry, ordering from local grocery shops, home services and direct chat with businesses through its Android and iOS apps.

Niffler on the other hand, currently offers an Android and iOS app called Coupons & Deals – Niffler, which claims to offer discount coupons and deals for various brands like Shoppers Stop, Forever 21, Nike, Levis and Zara among others. It also offers various deals from restaurants and cafes, as well as displays various places near the user which have Happy Hours. It also claims to have chat based interactions between customers and local businesses.

Helpchat rebranding: Formerly known as Akosha, the Delhi-based online customer feedback platform was rebranded to Helpchat in July. For the rebranding exercise, it tied up with Mumbai based Ogilvy & Mather and Open Design for the brand, logo and market services. According to the company, it found that the nature of queries to the Akosha platform changed from complaints to other help services, it thought of converting to HelpChat.

Niffler fundraise: In March, Niffler raised $1 million in a round of seed investment from SAIF Partners. The company had said then that it would use the funds for expansion and diversification. Founded by Edul Patel, Viraj Shah and Prince Arora, Niffler is currently present in Mumbai, Pune, NCR, Bangalore and Hyderabad and claims to partner 300 outlets in Mumbai for Niffler-exclusive discounts.

Image source: Flickr user Kristina Alexanderson