Attentive raises another $40M for mobile messaging, will invest in helping customers respond to COVID-19 – TechCrunch

Posted: April 16, 2020 at 8:51 pm


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Mobile messaging startup Attentive continues to bring in new funding.

The startup raised a $40 million Series B last summer, followed by a $70 million Series C at the beginning of this year. Today its announcing that its extended the Series C by another $40 million, bringing the total round size to $110 million.

CEO Brian Long (who previously founded TapCommerce with his Attentive co-founder Andrew Jones andsold the company to Twitter) told me that the new funding closed just a week ago. He said the money comes from institutional investors who had wanted to participate in the Series C, but for whatever reason, the timing didnt work out.

Then, as the startup wanted to invest in new areas particularly in response to the COVID-19 pandemic Long reached out again. Once they saw Attentives numbers for the first quarter of 2020, the firms were willing to invest.

Apparently, the number of new customer sign-ups is only increasing, with Attentive now working with more than 1,000 businesses. Companies like Coach, Urban Outfitters, CB2, PacSun, Lulus and Jack in the Box use the platform to manage their mobile messaging, with tools around adding text message subscribers, creating engaging messages and tracking the results of those campaigns.

And while were at the beginning of whats likely to be a dramatic slowdown in advertising and marketing, Long suggested that even if businesses pull back on acquiring new customers, theyll still need to maintain a relationship with existing ones.

CRM is such a critical channel for companies email and text are the last thing you would shut down, he said.

Sequoia Capital Global Equities and Coatue are the new investors in the Series C. Sequoias venture fund already led (or co-led) the Series C and the Series B, but Long said he was interested in working with the firms crossover fund and with Coatue partly because they invest in public companies as well.

Not that he has immediate plans for Attentive to go public, but he said, It just creates optionality, so that there are fewer financial pressures regardless of the route the company takes.

Other investors in the Series C include IVP, Bain Capital Ventures, NextView Ventures, Eniac Ventures and High Alpha.

Attentives rapid growth is an indicator of how consumers are eager to find a more direct, personalized and efficient channel to interact with businesses, said Jeff Wang, managing partner at Sequoia Capital Global Equities, in a statement. Weve been impressed by how quickly Attentives business has scaled, its strong customer momentum, and the expertise of the team. We are thrilled to increase Sequoias partnership with Attentive through our Global Equities fund.

As for how Attentive is responding to COVID-19, the startup plans to create funds to help customers navigate the economic fallout. There will be more details released in the coming weeks, but Long said the idea is to launch funds focused on the e-commerce/retail, food/beverage and educational sectors, providing free access to Attentive tools and services to help those companies get recharged.

Long added that he hopes to grow Attentives headcount from 260 employees to more than 400 by the end of this year.

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Attentive raises another $40M for mobile messaging, will invest in helping customers respond to COVID-19 - TechCrunch

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April 16th, 2020 at 8:51 pm

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