Uniphore Looks at Overseas Expansion
Uniphore provides integration of speech recognition and voice biometrics with smart mobile technology to deliver solutions on the cloud. The company has developed two cloud-based platforms-VoiceNet
March 5, 2014 (Newswire.com) - Having created strong foothold in India, speech-based mobile solutions provider Uniphore Software Systems is now looking to expand overseas. The Chennai-based company has started some operations in South East Asia and West Asia from January 2014 and will soon look at raising funds for further expansion into new markets.
Founded in 2008 by Umesh Sachdev (chief executive officer) and Ravi Saraogi (chief operational officer), Uniphore has an impressive list of clients in India, like State Bank of India, Axis Bank, Cholamandalam, and ITC among others. The company also works in the government space, especially with state governments. A market leader in its category, Uniphore has so far raised only a seed funding of $100,000 from Rural Technology and Business Incubator (RTBI) - the incubator at Indian Institute of Management-Madras.
"From the second year onwards the company had become profitable so our need for cash for internal purposes has come from our growth itself. But now that we are aggressively looking to grow outside India, of course we will look at another round of investment," Sachdev told Business Standard. "However, as of now there is nothing concrete, but hopefully soon there will be a (funding) round that we will look at."
Uniphore provides integration of speech recognition and voice biometrics with smart mobile technology to deliver solutions on the cloud. The company has developed two cloud-based platforms-VoiceNet, which is specially designed for feature-phones and provides a human-like interactive conversation using Interactive Voice Response (IVR), multilingual speech recognition, voice biometrics, and text to speech giving birth to an ultimate voice communications platform that includes customisable profiles, transactions, information on demand, interactive conversations, and voice recordings, and mCAS (Mobile Control and Access System) that is the company's smart mobility application development platform.
Uniphore has cracked the challenge of the diversity of Indian accents and dialects that many of its larger peers have not succeeded in combating. Uniphore's technology interprets and responds to the characteristics of 14 Indian languages and over 100 dialects. Uniphore's technology is use across industry segments such as agriculture, financial services, retail, education, and aviation, among others.
The company currently has a revenue close to Rs 10 crore (according to industry sources), and it has been clocking 3X growth in revenues for the last three years. Sachdev said, Uniphore aims to have annual revenue of $20 million (around Rs 124 crore) by 2017-18. This growth will mainly be backed by the overseas expansion.
"We expect around 20 per cent of our revenues for the current financial year ending March 2014 to come from its overseas operations," Sachdev said. "We are focused on only South East Asia and West Asia for the next few months, before we expand into other geographies."
International growth for the company would be 'partnership-led', wherein Uniphore will join hands with larger information technology (IT) companies for going to market, Sachdev said. Under the partnership, Uniphore's technology could be offered complimentary with the partner's offering to clients or be marketed as a separate offering. Among others, Uniphore currently has 3i Infotech as a partner for West Asia.
Additionally, while Uniphore's technology can be used to develop a business-to-consumer (B2C) product like iOS' intelligent personal assistant Siri, which lets you operate your smartphone by voice commands, Sachdev said the company is currently focused on enterprise business and is not looking to develop an application for consumers.
"The reason why we started this company was that we believed that after touch, speech would be the next interface and it that is now becoming a reality. We would be more than happy if a few years down the line some developers want to develop a product like Siri on our platform. But as a company, we are currently focused on the B2B (business-to-business) segment and are not looking at B2C," Sachdev said.
Source : www.wap.business-standard.com/article/technology/uniphore-looks-at-overseas-expansion-114030400309_1.html