Turkish firm on track to be first B2B unicorn
Engin Esen - ISTANBUL
AloTech, which provides cloud-based call center software solutions on a global scale, is poised to join Turkey’s growing list of unicorns, one of its founders has told Daily News in an email interview.
“We believe that we will be a technology unicorn from Turkey. We are one of the rare tech companies that investors deem as ones that have a potential to reach a market value of $1 billion,” said Cenk Soyak, who founded the firm with İdris Avcı in 2012.
Since Korhan Erçin joined the founding partners in 2019, the company ramped operations up, posting an annual growth rate of around 100 percent each year.
With an international staff of 105, it helps more than 600 customers managing a total call center traffic of about 60 million minutes per month. The company’s global brand Call Center Studio has already made inroads into 27 markets including the United States, Romania and Nigeria.
Call center software market will expand to over $90 billion by 2028, according to analysts. That gives AloTech the upper hand in the unicorn race, according to Soyak.
Turkish unicorns, namely Peak Games, Dream Games, online commerce giants Trendyol and Hepsiburada, and app-based fast delivery firm Getir, are all business-to-customer (B2C) platforms, Soyak noted.
“Because we are offering a B2B [business-to-business] platform, we know that we have a tough row to hoe. Nevertheless, our sector is among the ones that has been rising in a fast pace,” he added. “The investment world shows great interest to companies that produce their own technology and opens to the world fast.”
In an investment round led by Collective Spark last month, AloTech attracted $3 million from TechOne Ventures and angel investors including Nevzat Aydın, Alp Saul, Galip Selçuk and Kerim Kotan.
With its improved financials, the company leaders now aim at focusing on the North American market, where AloTech managed to enter the prestigious Red Herring Top 100 list.
They are also planning to draw investments from American venture capital between 12 and 18 months.
“There are two main reasons in prioritizing North America. First, North America makes half of the world’s call center software market. Second, we have accelerated our works on the global arena after demand for our services and solutions increased during the [COVID-19] pandemic period. Then we saw that decisions are made more quickly to get products and services in the North American market, and the financial capabilities are much higher in that market,” said Soyak.
Turkish startups can get more support from technoparks and Research and Development (R&D) centers compared to world peers, he said, adding that, “Now, we are more aware of our advanced technology, human resources, creativity and growth potential abroad. Especially the high valuations the Turkish unicorns reached in a short while have motivated other entrepreneurs.”
In the first half of this year, Turkish startups attracted about $1.3 billion in foreign investments, according to the Industry and Technology Ministry.