Swiftkey in talks with handset makers to expand India business


SwiftKey

Swiftkey is in talks with handset makers in the country to pre-embed its keyboard app on devices as the UK-based firm eyes aggressive expansion in one of the world’s largest smartphone market.

Swiftkey is already witnessing a strong traction in downloads of the app and already counts India as its second largest market (in terms of users) after the US.

“We have already signed in seven OEMs in India. Add to that the number of downloads that we are seeing, we are very bullish on India and this is already our second biggest market,” Swiftkey Chief Revenue and Distribution Officer Eric Collins told PTI.

He added that the company is in discussions with more OEMs to expand its India presence.

Its partners in India include domestic players such as Micromax, Karbonn, Intex, Spice, Lava and XOLO, among others.

Though India still has a small contribution to Swiftkey’s revenues, Collins expressed confidence in the potential of the Indian market.

Swiftkey’s keyboard supports 22 Indian languages, including Hindi, Malayalam, Assamese, Bengali, Bodo, Dogri, Gujarati, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Tamil, Telugu and Urdu.

The growth in smartphone sales is coming from tier II and III towns and buyers in these markets are looking for devices that can help them interact in their local languages, he said.






“We have partnered JNU that supports some minority languages as well. We offer the best experience in terms of offering speakers of these regional languages the same contextual and predictive keyboard experience that one would have on other (English) keyboards,” Collins added.

The company has a 20-people team in India working on R&D, linguistics, product design and collaboration with the community. Globally, it has about 160 people.

Overall, Swiftkey keyboard features on more than 200 million devices worldwide. The company has raised more than USD 20 million in funding from investors including Accel Partners, Index Ventures and Octopus Investments.

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