Indian-Aussie start-up legend Alok Kulkarni’s tech firm records USD350 million in funding

"We’re excited to have the firepower to grow and continue to attract the best people globally. We’re at the beginning of a very exciting new chapter.”

Alok Kulkarni founded Melbourne tech company Cyara has cemented its spot in Aussie start-up legend with a record VC funding.

It has raised more than USD 350 million (AUD 499 million) in a venture capital funding round that equals the largest in Australia’s history.

Alok told media:

“Cyara was founded with a vision to improve customer experience, and we’re delighted to have found a partner in K1 that is committed to the same values and wants to accelerate our growth aspirations.”

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He added that most organisations can succeed or fail based on their customer experience as most large companies handle millions of interactions every day.

“More companies are realising the business-critical nature of the work we do and we’re excited to have the firepower to grow and continue to attract the best people globally. We’re at the beginning of a very exciting new chapter.”

Cyara, co-founded in 2006 by CEO Alok Kulkarni, CTO Luan Tran and Executive Director Bonny Malik, helps its blue-chip customers build and maintain their CX systems more efficiently with automated testing and monitoring. 

Image source: Cyara team – Cyara.

Last year, Alok was awarded the 2021 Distinguished Alumni Award for the Faculty of Engineering. He completed his Bachelor of Engineering in Electrical and Computer Systems Engineering with Honours from Monash in 1994.

A passionate entrepreneur, Alok said via LinkedIn:

“It was truly an honour to receive this recognition from Monash. I didn’t feel like I belonged in the company of such amazing accomplished recipients. Thank you again! Ancora Imparo. Proud to be part of the Monash community, the vision and ideals Monash stands for. The Clayton campus is a sight to behold with incredible buildings but it’s the Monash team that makes it truly special.”

Cyara has received this record funding from K1 Investment Management (K1) which is a leading investment firm focused on high-growth enterprise software companies.

According to reports, K1’s investment and experience in business-to-business (B2B) SaaS will support Cyara’s accelerated growth, driving the expansion of the contact testing market.

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iMAGE SOURCE: Alok-Kulkarni-Cyara – LinkedIn

Roy Liao, Principal at K1 told media:

“Cyara provides mission critical software and is led by a visionary management team. We look forward to supporting Alok and the management team to execute on their growth strategy and further cement their position as the category leader in automated customer experience.”

According to data from Cut Through Venture, startup funding in Australia and New Zealand hit more than $10 billion in 2021

In 2021, K1 has led a US$350 million investment into Brisbane based SaaS company SimPRO and Rokt bagged $458 million in Series E funding.

Cyara counts eBay, Oracle and Vodafone among its customers and Alok expects to see revenue growth ramp up to 30% or 40%.

He is also looking for opportunities to expand Cyara in the US, Asian and European markets.

Prior to Cyara, Alok was the Director of Solutions Engineering at Genesys and has also held roles at National Australia Bank, NEC, and others.

He also speaks regularly at industry and partner conferences, and he is also a director at TiE, a global non-profit organisation dedicated to giving back by helping entrepreneurs. As part of TiE, Alok mentors Australian entrepreneurs and is responsible for corporate memberships within the TiE Melbourne chapter.