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Drive growth and reduce costs with omnichannel business messaging

Announcing $52 million Series B funding

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Feb 19, 2019 • 6 min read
John kim
John S. Kim
CEO & Co-Founder of Sendbird
SBM blog CTA mobile 1

Drive growth and reduce costs with omnichannel business messaging

SBM blog CTA mobile 1

Drive growth and reduce costs with omnichannel business messaging

Our News: we’re excited to announce that we’ve raised $52 million during our Series B round.

ICONIQ Capital led the round with participation from all our investors in Series A, bringing our total funding to about $71 million dollars since we graduated Y Combinator in 2016. Matt Jacobson, General Partner at ICONIQ, joins our Board of Directors. It’s an important milestone for our team and I’m deeply grateful to work with the talented people who have brought us to now. And I can’t wait to collaborate with all those to come.

Sendbird – Where are we now?

Since our Series A, only a year ago, we now support over one billion messages every month, each one supporting the business goals of nearly 12,000 applications worked on, in part, by our community of 50,000 developers trying Sendbird’s API in 153 different countries. All told, it’s a growth in messaging activity by 100x in 2 years.

We’ve partnered with many truly incredible customers this past year, too. Customers we’ve long admired – like Yahoo! Sports, Hinge, and Glu Mobile in the US; Yell, Virgin Mobile, and Wargaming in EMEA; GoGoVan, Ruangguru, HappyFresh, and Dream11 in Southeast Asia and India; and SNOW in Korea. And we’ve continued partnerships with amazing companies like GO-JEK, who continually amaze us with their success and innovation in on-demand services throughout Southeast Asia.

This momentum is gaining from a growing market for user-to-user messaging APIs, backed by a larger trend in the evolution of the software industry driven by the API economy. Based on customer traction, the service addressable market is $4.2 billion USD today and growing quickly as businesses become educated about the omnipresence of messaging.

76% of the world uses a messenger app every month. Of 5.8 billion people, key economic buyers like Millennials and younger demographics are choosing to communicate with businesses, friends, family, and colleagues using messaging. These numbers are pretty incredible. They demonstrate just how fundamental messaging is to the people around the world.

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Communicate seamlessly with buyers.

Even more incredible to me personally is the number of people now making Sendbird grow by driving success for our customers. Since Series A, we’ve grown from 24 to 75 employees at Sendbird. I’m humbled by the people who have joined us and by the rapid rate of our growth.

I invite you to join us!

What still keeps me up at night is helping businesses leverage the amazing momentum of user-to-user messaging, and giving them everything they need to create the best messaging experience to engage their users to drive key business goals.

All of this validates our mission. There still is a lot of work that needs to be done and there will always be more problems to solve. To build genuine, lasting value and a great company, we need to get a lot of things right. It’s deeply motivating to find so many areas to build and improve.

What’s on the horizon?

With all this capital and increasing momentum, we’re going to empower businesses and developers to build and customize the messaging experiences they need to continue engaging their users.

Messaging technology is increasingly consolidated into the hands of only several popular messenger apps and they’re used by almost the entire world. As the development of messaging (and communication more largely) advances, it becomes increasingly difficult for businesses to offer user-to-user messaging that can match the pace of messenger app innovation and engagement. Sendbird’s goal is to empower businesses with everything they need to harness this global trend to help their most important business goals – whether it’s driving bookings for on-demand apps, creating better-informed customers who transact more quickly in marketplaces, or create new ways of engaging in online communities.

Think of Sendbird as an extension to your engineering team – the part of your team that builds the chat that’s a little cumbersome to build and maintain – so your team can focus on your core business in its product. Whether that core is building the best marketplace, the best delivery experience, the best community, or the best games — whatever matters to you and your users — our API simply gives your developers the flexibility to customize features for your use-case easily and powerfully.

And our moderation tools — something on which we’re doubling down — create moments that add to the positive experiences in your apps, the kind that satisfy people and instill the desire, trust, and loyalty for your brand. All this at the scale you need for your highly subscribed apps – over 1,000,000 concurrent connections per application and the ability to power a billion messages every day.

Our series B is going to help us to do more of this work for our customers – to build the best possible chat and messaging API in the world, to scale our go-to-market, and attract and retain the amazing people that make this possible. Here are two key areas we are investing.

1. Build the No. 1 Chat API

To build the absolute best product in the market, we need to continue to hire and retain talented people, listen to our customers and learn from them more keenly, and harness these lessons and people to build a product that leads our company into the market. To give our customers the most innovative messaging experiences to get their users talking and engaging. And, then, direct user-to-user messaging to drive the key business goals from these engagements.

In the spirit of building the No. 1 chat API, we’ll become even faster, more scalable and reliable in every region, develop more SDK and API features to build on, and support our customers responsively and effectively. We’ll write better documentation, build better developer tools, and engage our community more actively.

We’re planning many expansions to our platform for the coming year and we’re excited to bring them to you. We can hardly wait!

2. Scale our go-to-market globally

We already have multiple offices around the world — San Mateo as our global headquarters, Seoul, Korea as our APAC office — and we’re building teams in other parts of the world. The most important reason for this global expansion is that we can support our customers 24/7. The other side of the coin is that we’ve got each other’s backs around the clock. This has been an important part of Sendbird from the very beginning.

It’s our deliberate goal to be as responsive and as helpful as possible every time we engage a customer. A key part of this is communicating the value of user-to-user messaging to the market and our customers, and listening to each attentively. Necessary to achieving this is a combination of both marketing and sales – we need to bring a lot of talented people in to accomplish this.

We are problem solvers and creators. To help the company continue to grow and better serve our customers, we are hiring in all areas!

Check out all our jobs openings – engineering, sales, design, people & culture, marketing, product – across the board, we’d love to work with you!


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