The Latin American startup Yalochat just raised $15 million for its Salesforce and ServiceNow-competitor that lets users chat with customers over WhatsApp

The Latin American startup Yalochat just raised $15 million for its Salesforce and ServiceNow-competitor that lets users chat with customers over WhatsApp
Yalochat founder and CEO Javier MataYalochat
  • On Thursday, the customer management and messaging startup Yalochat announced $15 million in fresh funding led by B Capital Group, which was cofounded by Facebook cofounder Eduardo Saverin.
  • Yalochat is taking on the likes of Salesforce and ServiceNow by helping companies manage customers through messaging apps like WhatsApp.
  • Yalochat focuses on emerging markets like Latin America and Asia, and it plans to use its funding for global expansion.

The Mexican startup Yalochat just scored a new round of funding for its mission to take on companies like ServiceNow and Salesforce with a completely different way of managing customers.

Yalochat builds a customer relationship management (CRM) platform that helps businesses use chat apps like WhatsApp to manage sales operations and customer service, and it focuses on emerging markets like Latin America and Asia. On Thursday, it announced a $15 million funding round led by B Capital Group — which was cofounded by Facebook cofounder Eduardo Saverin — with participation from Sierra Ventures.

This is B Capital's first investment in Latin America, where Saverin is from. Yalochat has raised a total of $25 million, but declined to share its valuation.
Advertisement
Founder and CEO Javier Mata came up with the idea because of how incredibly popular WhatsApp and similar messaging apps are in Latin America and Asia: Why not help companies use those apps to facilitate interactions with their customers?

Yalochat has won over customers like Coca-Cola, Amazon, Pepsi, Domino's, and Walmart, and can help all these large companies sell products to mom-and-pop shops that may not have established websites or apps.

"We believe that is a simpler model," Mata told Business Insider."It has worked very well for companies that worked with us to run the most critical operations on messaging apps,"
Advertisement

Taking on Salesforce and ServiceNow

Mata says while customer relationship management has long been led by companies like ServiceNow and Salesforce, their software is built with salespeople in mind, instead of the customers that those salespeople are actually selling to. By building on top of messaging apps, Yalochat is meeting

"As we build this company, we see that this is a new way of operating on top of messaging," Mata said. "We take the user perspective and not the technology perspective as one of the key things that allowed us to go further than our competitors. We managed to understand that ultimately it needed to be easy for users to use in order for this to work out." Yalochat saw a 650% increase in messages on its app during the coronavirus crisis, and Mata theorized that Yalochat's usage continued to grow because it became clear to companies that they needed to make their business digital in order to stay running.
Advertisement

And with Yalochat, they don't need to download a brand new app, but can simply use the messaging apps they already have.

"Now that the dust has settled, you can see what types of companies are growing," Mata said. "That ultimately allowed us to get the funding."

'Everyone thought we were crazy'

Yalochat originally launched in Mexico City, and eventually expanded to other markets worldwide. Mata says in the beginning, "everyone thought we were crazy" to launch in emerging markets, as most major enterprise software companies come out of the US or Europe.
Advertisement

However, he says ultimately, it paid off. With the funding, Yalochat plans to expand globally and make its platform available to more non-developers. Today, Yalochat has offices across North America, Latin America, India, and more.

Mata says to raise funding, Yalochat mapped out the types of investors it wanted and connected with investors in its network. He was especially looking for investors that believe successful companies can be built out of anywhere.

"They believe not all companies need to come out of Silicon Valley to be successful," Mata said. "We want to inspire companies in Latin America and India that companies can be built out of these markets and impact the lives of many people around the world."
Advertisement
Got a tip? Contact this reporter via email at rmchan@businessinsider.com, Signal at 646.376.6106, Telegram at @rosaliechan, or Twitter DM at @rosaliechan17. (PR pitches by email only, please.) Other types of secure messaging available upon request.
{{}}