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MessageBird, the ‘omnichannel platform-as-a-service,’ raises $200M Series C at $3B valuation – TechCrunch

Robert Vis Messagebird 02

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 $three billion valuation, and consists of participation from Bonnier, Glynn Capital, LGT Lightstone, Longbow, Mousse Companions and New View Capital. Existing investors 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 means of YC’s accelerator programme, the corporate’s first institutional funding got here in late 2017 when it raised $60 million in Series A funding from U.S-based Accel and Europe’s Atomico. PJDM understands that off the again of accelerated development, a $40 million Sequence B was quietly closed in February 2019 from current buyers 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 a API — MessageBird has since repositioned itself as an “Omnichannel Platform-as-a-Service” (OPaaS). The concept 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, SMS, electronic mail and voice. Prospects can begin on-line after which transfer their help request or question over to a extra handy channel, resembling their favorite cellular messaging app, which, in fact, can go together with them. It’s all a part of MessageBird founder and CEO Robert Vis’ huge wager that the way forward for buyer interactions is omni-channel.

“Folks consider stay chat as a ‘stay’ channel, however [there’s] no capability to leap to different channels,” Vis informed me in June when the corporate launched its omni-channel chat widget and Intercom competitor. “Folks 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 choose 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 might higher handle buyer relationships and response instances”.

In a name earlier this week, Vis informed me that the Sequence C was raised remotely throughout lockdown, and comes at a time the place enterprises are more and more in search of “messaging-first” buyer communication instruments throughout channels. Partially, he places this right down to the coronavirus pattern of firms wanting to maneuver their gross sales and customer support absolutely distant and on-line, however concedes that with enterprise gross sales cycles usually fairly lengthy, in lots of situations this expedited digitisation was already underway.

To that finish, MessageBird says the funding will likely be used to triple the dimensions of its world group and additional broaden 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 corporations with merchandise or know-how that may add worth to MessageBird’s omni-channel providing.

One space the corporate is bolstering, for instance, is the automation capabilities of its “Circulate 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 Circulate Builder evolves to change into an RPA (robotic course of automation) platform for exterior enterprise messaging.

Vis additionally says that MessageBird is now formally a “work from wherever” firm, although he was initially barely skeptical in direction of distant working. Now a full convert, he says in lots of situations at MessageBird the choice to work remotely has already resulted in elevated productiveness and a greater work-life stability. As the corporate continues to broaden (and with a watch 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.

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Steve O'Hear