GupShup, a Twitter-Like Service, Gets $10 Million


SMSGupShup, an SMS-based group messaging/microblogging service from Webaroo, is close to announcing that it has raised $10 million in new capital from Helion Ventures and Charles River Ventures. News of pending deal was first reported by some blogs in IndiaIn its original form, Webaroo — a startup co-founded by Rakesh Mathur, formerly of Junglee, and Beerud Sheth, formerly of eLance — was going nowhere fast, until the company launched the SMSGupShup service, which has taken on a life of its own in India. (Disclosure: Rakesh is an investor in the parent company of this blog.)

I use the SMSGupShup service to send alerts to our readers in India, and our reach has been growing like a weed — much like the service itself. Here’s a link to my GupShup channel, in case you want to sign up. SMSGupShup is, according to some estimates, about seven times the size of Twitter in terms of users and about three times as big in terms of daily SMS messages. It rarely has outages because, as its name suggests, it is almost entirely focused around SMS.



India has a far more reach of mobile (about 250 million mobile-literate as compared to 65 million pc literate).
SMS is already being used in India for a lot of utilitarian services like sending climate forecast to farmers and selecting best prices for selling their crops/vegetables.


SMS on Gupshup have long delays and sometimes do not reach the designated address.


SMS messaging is expensive in North America compared to Asian countries. SMS messages are very cheap in India. That explains why the service has picked up so well. Also, in India they don’t charge you for incoming SMS messages, it’s only for outgoing messages.
Any idea on how SMSGupShup is generating revenue. In other words, what is their revenue model? Are they still trying to figure out the revenue model like twitter or they have found one?

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