MessageBird, a cloud communications platform that counts publicly indexed Twilio as a competitor, has raised a hefty $60 million in Series A investment. The spherical is being led by means of Accel within the U.S., with Atomico, the VC company based by means of Skype’s Niklas Zennström, main in Europe.
Notably, I’m instructed that is the most important Series A for a graduate of Silicon Valley accelerator Y Combinator, and in quintessential European undertaking startup type, Amsterdam-founded MessageBird is already winning. Aside from YC funding, the startup has been bootstrapped until now, too, and is on target to hit a $100 million run charge this 12 months. Keeping up? I do hope so — all of which begs the query of why the corporate has raised investment now and why such a massive spherical.
In a name, MessageBird founder and CEO Robert Vis instructed me that, even supposing the startup has “been profitable from day one,” the extent of in-bound enquiries it had began to get no longer simplest validated call for however was once additionally at a degree that the then 40-person staff may just now not provider. To develop and scale accurately, a money injection was once wanted, even though he stressed out that greater than cash he sought after to make a choice VCs that may just in reality upload worth. This integrated telecoms experience, with Vis announcing that Accel and Atomico particularly met that standards.
“It’s one of those situations where we wanted to raise money to grow our teams but I didn’t want to just take money from everywhere,” he says. “VC money in that sense is sort of like a commodity, there is enough of it out there if you build something that people are interested in. But I think it’s really important to find partners that are a really good fit and that are going to fit with your culture”.
Another fascinating facet of MessageBird is that it has traditionally centered better undertaking shoppers and, says Vis, constructed extra direct relationships and connections to carriers, so that it could compete on value, reliability and safety.
On the outside, MessageBird has a product very similar to different cloud communications platforms — ie it gives quite a lot of voice, video and textual content functions all wrapped up in a API — however Vis says that for the reason that corporate has its personal telecoms infrastructure and direct integrations with 220 carriers globally, it’s a lot nearer to the tip level, having to make a ways much less hops with the intention to talk, which is able to differently introduce delays or messages by no means arriving in any respect. This, he says, is significant for the undertaking, equivalent to, as an example, a financial institution’s app sending you an SMS alert so that you can ascertain that a acquire isn’t fraudulent.
Direct provider integrations additionally method that, in contrast to different cloud communications platforms, MessageBird doesn’t want to undergo further third-parties, which reduces value. I perceive that one competing cloud communications platform was once a buyer of MessageBird itself as a way to be offering wider protection, although Vis declined to verify if that was once certainly Twilio.
All of which brings us to MessageBird’s 15,000 global shoppers, which alongside with the likes of DoorDash, SAP, Huawei, ING, Amber Alert, and Heineken, contains Uber. If you might have been following the cloud communications area intently, you’ll know that Twilio additionally counts Uber as a buyer however in May issued steerage that earnings would fall for the reason that trip reserving app was once making plans to diversify its cloud comms provision, together with shifting clear of Twilio as its major communications infrastructure supplier. It now seems like MessageBird has picked up some, if no longer all, of that slack.
Vis stated he couldn’t touch upon Uber particularly, however says there are a collection of the explanation why a very massive communications app, which Uber is, would glance to make use of a vary of cloud communications platforms as soon as it reached a positive scale, no longer least to deliver down value and introduce festival as a part of any sourcing and procurement technique. “I think we get chosen because we are a really secure, fast and cost effective solution for them,” he says.