Whatfix, a “digital adoption platform” (DAP) that helps companies create on-screen product walkthroughs for their software, has raised $32 million in a series C round of funding led by Sequoia Capital India, with participation from Cisco Investments, Eight Roads Ventures, and F-Prime Capital.

Founded in 2014, San Jose-based Whatfix develops tools to make it easier for companies to onboard users and improve employee training, through integrating features such as tip-balloons to highlight new features, among other forms of visual overlays that demonstrate functionality. It can also be used to deliver step-by-step guidance for users to execute specific tasks.

Ultimately, it’s all about improving adoption of digital products, so that when companies invest in new software, people use and engage with it to its full potential.

“As the future of work evolves, enterprises must invest in digital adoption now to prepare for the next wave in the digital workplace,” noted Whatfix CEO and cofounder Khadim Batti.

Above: Whafix tip-balloon

Prior to now, Whatfix had raised around $18 million, and with another $32 million in the bank, it said that it plans to invest in product development and expand in markets such as Europe and Australia.

The enterprise software market specifically was pegged as a $457 billion market last year, according to Gartner, up 9% on the previous year — this is expected to grow a further 10% in 2020. With every company effectively becoming a software company, this will only increase the need to improve software usability — or, at least, ensure that workers have the right tools to learn as they go along. And that is where Whatfix is setting out to help.

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“Mainstream employees and alternative workforce will need to be digitally savvy, stay focused on key digital activities, use bots to enter data and perform routine tasks, re-skill themselves by self-learning in the flow of work, and be comfortable acting on hyper-personalized guidance,” Batti added.

Whatfix also made its first acquisition last year, when it snapped up Indian startup Airim which develops an AI-powered personalization engine. Integrated into the Whatfix platform, this will enable greater personalized in-app guidance technology tailored in real-time to each user based on how they are interacting with a website or app. So in effect, you could have two individuals with roughly the same role and carrying out the same tasks, but who will see different guidance when using the same application.

“Personalized in-app guidance, automation and quick discovery will help enterprises and their workers be more productive and reduce cognitive overload,” Batti said.

A number of other players operate in the DAP space, including San Francisco-based WalkMe which closed a $90 million round of funding just a couple of months back. Raleigh-based Pendo, which offers similar functionality, raised $100 million last year at a $1 billion valuation.

“Software is penetrating the deepest crevices of enterprise workflows at an unprecedented pace,” added Sequoia Capital India principal Tejeshwi Sharma. “A new category of digital adoption solutions (DAS) is fast emerging to ensure user adoption keeps pace with software purchase. Whatfix has been instrumental in shaping the DAS category by innovating products aimed at democratizing adoption and efficient use of software products.”

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