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Generative AI has changed SaaS businesses completely. Everyone, including the likes of Zoho, Salesforce, and Freshworks, is getting into the generative AI gamble – and so is Whatfix. With the help of a 12-member team split into two groups, the company is endlessly working towards AI implementation across its products and functions with a focus on responsible AI.
“We are reimagining the future of digital adoption platform with Whatfix AI,” said Vara Kumar, co-founder and chief tech and product officer, in an interview with AIM.
Kumar said that Whatfix employs generative AI to boost user productivity through application-agnostic use cases, supporting web, desktop, and mobile applications for customers and employees. “It auto-completes text fields, provides detailed explanations for user notes, and offers summarised answers in self-help searches, saving time and effort,” added Kumar.
Interestingly, team Whatfix looks to prioritise a “human-in-the-middle” approach, ensuring human control over AI and contextual relevance. Whatfix is developing a computer vision model for human-like comprehension of applications and processes, enabling task completion without relying on technology or knowledge availability.
Founded by Khadim Batti and Kumar in 2014, the California-headquartered company introduced three new tools in 2022: Product Analytics, Nudgealong, and Comments. Product Analytics allows organisations to track and analyse user engagement and behaviour data effortlessly. Nudgealong democratises knowledge sharing, while Comments enable real-time collaboration. Whatfix obtained two patents for automatic segmentation and element detection.
Read more: What is Microsoft Without OpenAI?
From Data to Performance: A Holistic Approach to AI Deployment
According to Gartner’s report, only 54% of AI projects make it from pilot to production. The deployment of ML models is a global challenge for many enterprises due to common challenges like the collection and preparation of data, development of the model, deployment to production, and monitoring of its performance. Lack of resources and expertise, as well as a non-innovative culture, can further hinder the deployment process.
However, Whatfix has found a solution to this problem. “At Whatfix, we speed up AI/ML project deployment by integrating AI engineers into R&D teams, aligning everyone on the benefits and metrics of new features, and providing transparency into algorithms and ML processes,” Kumar explained.
To make this possible, Whatfix leverages cutting-edge technology. It uses Azure Machine Learning services throughout the entire machine learning lifecycle, including development, deployment, inference, and MLOps. When dealing with compute-intensive and inference-heavy deep learning models, they make use of GPU resources. Additionally, Whatfix employs Looker dashboards to monitor model performance and track key metrics.
Furthermore, Whatfix uses Transformer and GPT-based architectures for various functionalities. One notable example is their ability to generate concise answers for end-user queries by extracting information from vast repositories of content and guidance materials.
Navigating the Ethical AI Maze
The tech industry has always been unstable in its opinion to regulate AI. In the past three years, Microsoft fired its entire ethics and society team, following Google’s dismissal of its ethical AI team leader Tinmit Gebru. Even Meta disbanded its Responsible Innovation (RI) team.
Earlier this month, OpenAI CEO Sam Altman testified before the US Congress regarding AI regulation. While Altman supported the development of robust AI regulations by the international community, he also expressed concern about the potential consequences of actual regulatory implementation.
So in a scenario like this, it is important for companies to take the necessary steps.
Echoing similar lines, Kumar said, “We heavily use GenAI-based models, some of which have hallucination capabilities. However, we prioritise user service by ensuring zero hallucination, guaranteeing accurate information delivery.”
Whatfix does not share customer data with third-party services to improve their models or services. The quality of predictions can vary based on input data. We continuously monitor model performance in production and provide active feedback to maintain prediction quality and accuracy.
Whatfix Growth Story
India’s SaaS industry is poised to boost the country’s position as a leading service provider and simplify global business processes. It is expected to drive transformation and maximise the potential of the IT industry.
By 2030, India aims to generate $50 to $70 billion in SaaS revenues and capture 4-6% of the global market, creating up to $1 trillion in value.
Currently, India has 1,000 SaaS startups, including 10 unicorns, with a combined annual revenue of $2-3 billion and employing 40,000 people. The number of unicorns is predicted to increase tenfold by 2030. With an anticipated $10 billion SaaS industry and an eight percent global market share, India’s SaaS sector is growing at a compounded rate of 18%, with a projected 36% growth in the small and medium business sectors.
One of the key players in this market is Whatfix. In terms of revenue, last year, Whatfix achieved an impressive year-on-year (YoY) Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR) growth rate of 65%, making it one of the standout performers in its field.
Additionally, the company maintained an outstanding net revenue retention rate of 127% for its enterprise customers, demonstrating substantial growth within its existing customer base throughout the year. The average revenue generated per account experienced a noteworthy rise of 32%, with an impressive 40% of accounts experiencing expansion.
The California headquartered company also expanded its worldwide reach in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region by establishing a new office in Sydney, Australia.
Whatfix is backed by the likes of SoftBank, Sequoia Capital, Cisco Investments and more. In 2021, it raised a whopping $90 million through its Series D funding round, led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2. This funding round also witnessed active participation from notable investors such as Eight Roads Ventures, Sequoia Capital India, Dragoneer Investment Group, F-Prime Capital, and Cisco Investments. Earlier, the company had secured $32 million in Series C funding, with Sequoia Capital India leading the charge and receiving support from existing investors like Eight Roads Ventures, a renowned proprietary investment firm supported by Fidelity, F-Prime Capital, and Cisco Investments. Currently, Whatfix has raised an impressive $139.8 million to date.
Considering the impeccable reputation Whatfix has established and its substantial investments in generative AI, it appears evident that this “emerging unicorn” is on the brink of achieving the coveted status of a billion-dollar unicorn.