MessageBird, the Amsterdam-headquartered cloud communications firm, has raised $200 million in Sequence C funding in a spherical led by Silicon Valley’s Spark Capital.
The brand new funding offers 2011-founded MessageBird a whopping $3 billion valuation, and consists of participation from Bonnier, Glynn Capital, LGT Lightstone, Longbow, Mousse Companions and NewView Capital. Present traders Accel, Atomico and Y Combinator additionally adopted on.
Notably, MessageBird spent its first six years largely bootstrapped, claiming to have been worthwhile from day one. Other than going by way of YC’s accelerator programme, the corporate’s first institutional funding got here in late 2017 when it raised $60 million in Sequence A funding from U.S.-based Accel and Europe’s Atomico. TechCrunch understands that off the again of accelerated progress, a $40 million Sequence B was quietly closed in February 2019 from present traders, however by no means introduced.
Initially seen as a European or “remainder of the world” competitor to U.S.-based Twilio — providing a cloud communications platform that helps voice, video and textual content capabilities all wrapped up in an API — MessageBird has since repositioned itself as an “Omnichannel Platform-as-a-Service” (OPaaS). The thought is to simply allow enterprises and medium and smaller-sized firms to speak with prospects on any channel of their selecting.
Out of the field, this consists of help for WhatsApp, Messenger, WeChat, Twitter, Line, Telegram, SMS, electronic mail and voice. Clients can begin on-line after which transfer their help request or question over to a extra handy channel, equivalent to their favorite cell messaging app, which, in fact, can go together with them. It’s all a part of MessageBird founder and CEO Robert Vis’ large guess that the way forward for buyer interactions is omni-channel.
“Individuals consider reside chat as a ‘reside’ channel, however [there’s] no potential to leap to different channels,” Vis advised me in June when the corporate launched its omni-channel chat widget and Intercom competitor. “Individuals nonetheless have to attend with a browser window open for a response throughout peak instances. With the launch of the first-ever omni-channel widget, prospects can now decide to have a enterprise get again to them on WhatsApp, Messenger or the messaging platform of their alternative. This implies no extra prospects ready in line, on-line, and brokers don’t get flooded with tickets and may higher handle buyer relationships and response instances”.
In a name earlier this week, Vis advised me that the Sequence C was raised remotely throughout lockdown, and comes at a time when enterprises are more and more searching for “messaging-first” buyer communication instruments throughout channels. Partially, he places this right down to the coronavirus development of firms wanting to maneuver their gross sales and customer support totally distant and on-line, however concedes that with enterprise gross sales cycles sometimes fairly lengthy, in lots of cases this expedited digitisation was already underway.
MessageBird says one-third of its 15,000 prospects have now transitioned to utilizing its omnichannel cloud communications merchandise. The corporate is on observe to do €300 million in annual income. Clients embrace Lufthansa Airways, Heineken, Hugo Boss, Rituals Cosmetics and SAP, in addition to fast-growing manufacturers equivalent to Uber, Glovo, HelloFresh and Deliveroo.
To that finish, MessageBird says the funding will likely be used to triple the scale of its world workforce and additional increase into its core markets in Europe, Asia and Latin America. Vis doesn’t rule out M&A exercise, both, together with each acqui-hires and firms with merchandise or expertise that may add worth to MessageBird’s omni-channel providing.
One space the corporate is bolstering, for instance, is the automation capabilities of its “Movement Builder” software program, which goals to let customer support brokers automate a portion of buyer queries through AI-powered chatbots and FAQ bots. The larger imaginative and prescient is that Movement Builder evolves to turn into an RPA (robotic course of automation) platform for exterior enterprise messaging.
Vis additionally says that MessageBird is now formally a “work from anyplace” firm, despite the fact that he was initially barely skeptical towards distant working. Now a full convert, he says in lots of cases at MessageBird the choice to work remotely has already resulted in elevated productiveness and a greater work-life stability. As the corporate continues to increase (and with an eye fixed on a future IPO), he additionally says that being remote-first ought to assist with recruitment, citing expertise as any fast-growing firm’s largest problem.