Beerud Sheth, CEO and co-founder of conversational commerce unicorn Gupshup, told businessline that the company continues to prepare for its IPO even though the plans are delayed currently because of the bad market conditions.

The company is currently focusing on integrating the five acquisitions that it has completed last year and building the right culture, he said, while adding that IPO is more of a marketing ‘gupshup’ and thus the profit-making SaaS unicorn is not actively looking to raise funds. Gupshup was earlier planning to do a US listing by the end of 2022.

“It (IPO) maybe was also a liquidity event for some old investors who wanted to sell; and also a fundraising event. But fundraising was never the primary reason for us.,” Sheth added.

One needs to show much more predictable growth, have better processes, better tools and become more analytics and data driven in the process of becoming IPO-ready. The company also needs to have the right management team, legal and accounting, he said.

“Selecting a banker, filing the documents and doing an IPO takes about four months but it takes couple of years’ work to make a company IPO-ready. In that sense, we continue to prepare for an IPO,” said Sheth.

Funding winter

Talking about the impact of funding slowdown on Gupshup, he said, “Companies that are high growth and profitable (like Gupshup) are being valued a lot more than companies that are not profitable. So, we may be less affected by these valuation drops. This certainly pushes our IPO timeline out a little bit, but it doesn’t affect us in any material or meaningful way. We continue to build out management teams, growth, geography and profitability.”

Sheth is also looking at the current market as an opportunity to gain market share. If its competitors does not have the scale, growth of proftiability like Gupshup earlier, they would be much more constrained in the current funding crunch and will not be able to scale as much as the profitable player would. “The market is expanding, but the competition can’t satisfy that market. That’s an opportunity for us to expand market share. We are of course, a little more careful about how we allocate resources, where we invest and look at more data,” he added.

The company said it recorded $250 million in revenue this year and has grown by about 70 per cent in 2021-22. Sheth expects to see a similar growth rate in 2022-23 as well.