Amsterdam-based cloud communication unicorn MessageBird, has announced two key developments. Firstly, it has acquired the US-based SparkPost, a predictive email intelligence platform, for $600M (approx €497M). And secondly, the company has extended its Series C and raised $1B (approx €828.3M). The transaction is expected to close in Q2.
According to the company, this acquisition represents an important step for MessageBird in building its global omnichannel platform to help ease the communication with a business.
Based out of San Francisco, the company was founded by George Schlossnagle and Theo Schlossnagle in 2008. SparkPost is an email sending and deliverability platform that helps senders reliably reach the inbox with solutions to help them plan, execute, and optimise their email programs.
It provides a cloud API solution that enables applications and websites to send and receive emails. SparkPost’s customers such as Pinterest, LinkedIn, Twitter, Groupon, Marketo, Zillow, CareerBuilder, the Financial Times, and Comcast send over 4-5 trillion messages a year, more than 40 per cent of the world’s commercial email. This helps SparkPost’s clients to provide the deliverability, data insights, reliability, and scalability they need to drive customer engagement for their business.
Rich Harris, CEO of SparkPost, says, “By joining forces with MessageBird, we will be able to bring broader, deeper value to all of our customers through any digital communications channel. Our companies are a great cultural fit, having both built teams that pride themselves on serving the enterprise and helping customers craft compelling, flexible solutions to challenging business problems.”
Aim of this acquisition
MessageBird allows businesses to communicate seamlessly with their customers on the channels they use every day. Currently, channels that customers can access through the platform include Live-chat, Video, SMS, WhatsApp, Instagram, Google Business Messages, Apple Business Chat, Voice, Messenger, WeChat, RCS, Line, and Telegram.
And now, with the acquisition of SparkPost, email will now be added to MessageBird’s suite that believes email is the largest business communication channel by volume.
Robert Vis, CEO of MessageBird, believes, “The future of communications isn’t siloed – it’s omnichannel. Our acquisition of SparkPost will further strengthen our ability to serve customers through email as a powerful value channel, and with the most contextual, relevant information. We’re also enthusiastic to expand our global business into the US market and leverage the acquisition as a logical and exciting next step in our mission to be the leading platform of choice for businesses to communicate with their customers on any channel, globally.”
Closes Series C round
According to the unicorn, its extended $1B Series C now becomes the largest Series C round in Europe to date and second largest on either side of the Atlantic. Back in October 2020, the company had raised $200M in its series C round of funding.
This new capital was raised by Eurazeo, Tiger Global, Owl Rock, and funds and accounts managed by BlackRock. In addition, all existing investors also participated in this round. With this development, Nathalie Kornhoff-Brüls from Eurazeo will be joining the MessageBird board.
MessageBird is a cloud communications platform that connects enterprises to their global customers. The company was founded in 2011 by Adriaan Mol and Robert Vis.
Earlier this year, MessageBird launched Inbox.ai, which enables customers to communicate with businesses practically through any channel of their choosing, including – WhatsApp, SMS, Voice, Messenger, Instagram, WeChat, RCS, Line, and Telegram.
The company’s product line also includes a Chat Widget and Flow Builder. The Chat Widget helps convert static pages into dynamic conversations. Whereas, the Flow Builder is an RPA (Robotic Process Automation) platform that enables auto-replies creation and message routing. These services are also available via an API or an Application Programming Interface for easier integration with different platforms.
MessageBird claims to have more than 20,000 customers, from established brands such as Lufthansa Airlines, Heineken, Hugo Boss, Rituals Cosmetics, and SAP, as well as rapidly-growing disruptors such as Uber, HelloFresh, and Deliveroo.
It has offices in Amsterdam, San Francisco, Singapore, Bogota, London, Shanghai, Dublin, Hamburg, and Sydney.
Since its inception in 2011, the company has managed to raise funds and make acquisitions to dominate the market. This is how Messagebird became the largest Series C funded company in Europe:
- In September 2011, MessageBird acquired SMSCity for an undisclosed amount
- In July 2012, the communications company acquired Buongiorno SMS
- In August 2016, MessageBird raised $120K in its pre-Seed round of funding from Y Combinator
- In October 2017, MessageBird raised $60M in its Series A round of funding led by Silicon Valley-based Accel with a “significant participation” from Skype-founder Niklas Zennström’s Atomico based in London
- In December 2017, the company acquired Highside Telecom – a company with more than 15 years of experience in the telecom market as a wholesale telecom carrier, for an undisclosed amount
- Prior to acquiring SparkPost, back in February 2019, MessageBird was in a strategic partnership agreement with SparkPost to extend the communications channels available to businesses; also in the same month, the company raised $40M in its Series B round of funding
- In December 2019, MessageBird acquired TelServ, a platform for delivering numbers to businesses, for an undisclosed amount
- In March 2020, MessageBird officially entered the $350B Customer Service market with the launch of Inbox.ai
- Prior to that in October 2020, the company raised $200M in its series C round of funding at a valuation of €2.5B; earns a ‘Unicorn’ status
- In December 2020, the cloud communication company acquired Pusher, the UK software firm, in a deal worth $35M (approx €29M)
- In March 2021, the company acquired 24sessions – a video-first customer engagement platform, and Customer Data Platform (CDP) Hull.io – a startup that gathers all customer data in one place