Whatfix, a “digital adoption platform” (DAP) that helps companies create on-screen product walk-throughs 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, California-based Whatfix develops tools to help companies onboard users and improve employee training by integrating tip-balloons to highlight new features, among other forms of visual overlays that demonstrate functionality. The tools can also be used to deliver step-by-step guidance that allows users to execute specific tasks.

It’s all about improving adoption of digital products so that when companies invest in new software, people can 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,” said Whatfix CEO and cofounder Khadim Batti.

Above: Whafix tip-balloon

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

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Enterprise software was estimated to be a $457 billion market last year, according to Gartner, up 9% on the previous year — and it’s expected to grow another 10% in 2020. As every company effectively becomes a software company, the need to improve software usability — or at least ensure workers have the right tools to learn as they go along — will only increase.

“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, reskill 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, it will enable more personalized in-app guidance technology tailored in real time to each user based on how they are interacting with a website or app. In effect, two individuals with roughly the same role and carrying out the same tasks could 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 are operating 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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